Saturday, November 27, 2010

Good News from an Unexpected Quarter

An article in this morning's Register-Star announces that the tax levy increase in 2011 budget for Columbia County has been reduced from 2.1 percent to no increase: "Budget now boasts a 0% increase." It seems that the zero tax increase was achieved by taking $2.75 million from the fund balance and by increasing the amount of revenue expected from sales tax--from purchases made at T.J. Maxx and Kohl's, which has yet to open, and from the anticipated repeal of the county sales tax exemption on clothing and footwear costing less than $100.  


  1. Seems backwards. Better to tax the stuff over $100. Once again the poor get shafted to benefit the rich.

  2. That's exactly what the current situation is. Clothing purchases under $100 are exempt from county sales tax; items more than $100 are taxed. It's what the Board of Supervisors is thinking of repealing--to make all clothing purchases, regardless of price, subject to county sales tax.

  3. I think this is a coming change in the NY State law, not the Columbia County law (i.e., it is the State that is driving this change in sales tax, not the County).

    Jock Spivy

  4. Jock--Hasn't the state had already decided to stop this sales tax exemption at the beginning of 2011? The county could still continue its exemption and was considering doing so, I thought. What is it? State sales tax is 4 percent; county tax is another 4 percent, making a total of 8 percent?

  5. Yes the State and County sales taxes added together give us our 8% (or whatever it is exactly) sales tax.

    Can the County *not* collect sales tax if the State is collecting sales tax? I don't know of any instances or examples of that -- there either seems to be full sales tax on an item or no sales tax at all.

    Anyway, my point was that I don't think it's the County's initiative here to collect sales tax on clothing costing less than $100, but rather it is the State's.

    As another person noted, sales taxes are, it's true, regressive taxes, hitting poor people hardest.

    But then I would put the lottery in the same category (i.e., regressive tax on the poor), and the State has no problem taking as much money as possible from poor people via that channel.