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LI sales tax revenues rose in October

Terry Gottlibe of Pound Ridge loads her car

Terry Gottlibe of Pound Ridge loads her car with sandbags from the Home Depot in Brewster while her daughters Katelynn, 9, and Bridget, 4, help. Gottlibe purchased the sand in preparation for the upcoming storm. (Oct. 27, 2012) (Credit: Lisa Weir)

Long Islanders stocking up on storm supplies and filling up gas tanks kept cash registers ringing last month.

Nassau and Suffolk counties collected $170.5 million in sales taxes last month, a rise of 4 percent compared to the same period last year, according to a report released late Tuesday by the state Department of Taxation and Finance. Nassau posted a 5.6 percent increase, while Suffolk’s sales tax revenues climbed by 2.5 percent.

Superstorm Sandy “struck around the 29th, and it was widely heralded for the previous five to seven days, so it’s entirely possible that indeed people did go out to buy generators and other equipment, like plywood,” said Irwin Kellner, the Port Washington-based chief economist for financial news organization MarketWatch.

Higher gasoline prices also contributed to the boost in sales tax revenues, he said.

In October, gasoline prices were 4.8 percent to 10 percent higher than they had been the previous October, according to the AAA.

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