WPCNR QUILL & EYESHADE By John F. Bailey based on NY DEPT OF TAXATION AND FINANCE SEPTEMBER REPORT. October 20, 2021:
White Plains sales tax receipts have gone up 2% over 2020 levels after three months of the current city Fiscal Year 2021-22.
Westchester County going into the last three months of its fiscal year 2021, has received $595,885,795, accelerating sales tax receipts thanks to an $80,685,798 in Sales Tax dollars September–almost sure to set a new sales tax highest handle ever.
Sales tax collections with 9 months of the fiscal year to go and no fourth wave of Covid lockdowns or restrictions as a new roadblock pent up consumer demand. If White Plains continues with the current level of sales realized last October-November December the will realize $52 Million in sales tax receipts for the fiscal year 20-21 $9 Million more than budgeted for year. But, this is premature and perhaps wishful thinking.
Through three months, White Plains has received $13,392,663 in sales tax receipts, thanks to a boss September handle of $5,121,960 , compared to the $3,195,816 it received in September 21. This resurgence of the spending engine in the first three months of fiscal 21-22 is gathering steam, it comparable to the rebound after restrictions stopped covid spread .
It began in May and June, after the dismal last six months of 2020-21 that ended in June, after the second wave of covid in January to April locked down Westchester.
Covid Wave three officially started in July after the Independence Day weekend when the state under guidance of the legislature and Governor Cuomo removed mosy Covid lockdowns and group gathering and restaurant restrictions (possibly prematurely) in May and June which created a third wave of Covid in July.
That third wave appears to be subsiding. New infections were 1,000 new covid infections a week for 7 weeks from August 1 through September 18 and infections are now fluctuating between 100 and 45 new cases a day in Westchester County (averaging 83 new cases in Westchester a day, depending on the number of tests.)
Westchester though is virtually assured of getting their highest sales tax receipts ever with three months to go in the 2021 budget. All that has to happen for that to happen is dulicate last fall numbers.
Westchester County going into the last three months of its fiscal year 2021, has received $595,885,795, accelerating sales tax receipts thanks to an $80,685,798 Sales tax dollar September– county is almost sure to set a new sales tax highest handle ever.
If the county finishes with the same numbers received last October-November December ($189.093,098) (in the midst return to normal socializing and spending in the behavior that lead to the 2nd wave of covid, the county will set an all time sales tax receipts record ($784,978, 896) perhaps meaning happy, big spending days are here again – if covid does not comeback for a 4th wave, which is entirely possible, given the opening of schools for all students; return to packed dining establishments, and the holiday season.
However, the vaccines are here now.
The vaccines were not available in January of 2020 when covid disrupted New York, then the country.
Ironically, the performance of the county, in retrospect means that the optimistic sales tax budget increase of 27% 4 years ago in 2019-20 that predicted $747 million in sales tax receipts with addition of a 1% sales tax increase may have been at least closer to its target or right on the money, had covid not shut down New York for 9 months.
The subsequent budget shortfall, ballooned by covid, ironically was erased by the county using covid aid to replace the 2020 sales tax multi-million dollar deficit with a fund balance withdrawal, replacing the fund balance money used to plug the sales tax shortfall with covid aid money from the state and federal government.