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Suffolk County sales tax revenues short of projections

Revenues in 2017 came in $2.4 million under projections. In Nassau, revenues were $21.4 million more than budgeted.

Suffolk sales tax receipts grew by 4.28 percent last year, but still came in $2.4 million short because the county projected 4.46 percent growth for 2017 in adopting the 2018 budget, according to legislative budget analysts.

Nassau sales tax revenues grew by nearly three percent last year — $21.4 million than budgeted, according to Nassau’s budget review office. But due to technical reasons, $12.2 million of that increase cannot be used until 2019.

In all, Suffolk collected $1.39 billion in sales tax in 2017, up $57.1 million over 2016; Nassau collected $1.16 billion, an increase of $33.4 million.

Robert Lipp, director of the Suffolk’s legislature’s Office of Budget Review, called the sales tax shortfall “relatively small.”

But he said it will require county sales tax revenues to grow by 3.01 percent in the coming year to reach the 2.84 percent increase in sales tax revenues projected in the 2018 budget.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone in his proposed 2018 budget last September had estimated that 2017 sales tax receipts would increase even more — by 4.66 percent. County lawmakers later lowered the estimate.

Maurice Chalmers, Nassau’s budget review director, said the county’s strong fourth quarter results mean county sales tax revenues only have to grow by 1.8 percent to reach the level budgeted for 2018. Officials originally had budgeted for a 2 percent sales tax increase for 2018.

Chalmers said Nassau “seems on track to meet or possibly exceed” the 2018 sales tax forecast. Officials say over the past decade annual sales tax growth has averaged slightly more than 1.47 percent a year.

Chalmers said economic forecasts and actual payments indicated the “county could even accrue a sales tax surplus” in 2018. But he warned the interest rate growth and the federal tax overhaul are factors that “could diminish . . . sales tax growth” this year.

Although Suffolk’s sales tax figures came in below budget, legislative budget analysts said the 4.28 percent growth in 2017 exceeded the average 3.29 percent annual growth the county experienced from 2010 to 2016. It also was ahead of the 1.39 percent sales tax growth in 2016.

Lipp said prospects for sales tax revenues in 2018 are “a little murky.” He cited the potential impact of the federal tax bill that could penalize high tax states such as New York where taxpayer deductions for mortgage interest and state and local taxes are being curtailed.

Suffolk sales tax receipts grew by 4.28 percent last year, but still came in $2.4 million short because the county projected 4.46 percent growth for 2017 in adopting the 2018 budget, according to legislative budget analysts.

Nassau sales tax revenues grew by nearly three percent last year — $21.4 million than budgeted, according to Nassau’s budget review office. But due to technical reasons, $12.2 million of that increase cannot be used until 2019.

In all, Suffolk collected $1.39 billion in sales tax in 2017, up $57.1 million over 2016; Nassau collected $1.16 billion, an increase of $33.4 million.

Robert Lipp, director of the Suffolk’s legislature’s Office of Budget Review, called the sales tax shortfall “relatively small.”

But he said it will require county sales tax revenues to grow by 3.01 percent in the coming year to reach the 2.84 percent increase in sales tax revenues projected in the 2018 budget.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone in his proposed 2018 budget last September had estimated that 2017 sales tax receipts would increase even more — by 4.66 percent. County lawmakers later lowered the estimate.

Maurice Chalmers, Nassau’s budget review director, said the county’s strong fourth quarter results mean county sales tax revenues only have to grow by 1.8 percent to reach the level budgeted for 2018. Officials originally had budgeted for a 2 percent sales tax increase for 2018.

Chalmers said Nassau “seems on track to meet or possibly exceed” the 2018 sales tax forecast. Officials say over the past decade annual sales tax growth has averaged slightly more than 1.47 percent a year.

Chalmers said economic forecasts and actual payments indicated the “county could even accrue a sales tax surplus” in 2018. But he warned the interest rate growth and the federal tax overhaul are factors that “could diminish . . . sales tax growth” this year.

Although Suffolk’s sales tax figures came in below budget, legislative budget analysts said the 4.28 percent growth in 2017 exceeded the average 3.29 percent annual growth the county experienced from 2010 to 2016. It also was ahead of the 1.39 percent sales tax growth in 2016.

Lipp said prospects for sales tax revenues in 2018 are “a little murky.” He cited the potential impact of the federal tax bill that could penalize high tax states such as New York where taxpayer deductions for mortgage interest and state and local taxes are being curtailed.

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