Was actually three horsemen that rumbled through Rochester, New York, this week. Death (Robert Wegman), Destruction (collapsing parking garage) and Taxes.

I’ve blogged about the first two already. Here’s the third: County Exec Maggie Brooks has proposed a tax increase.

Here’s her op-ed in yesterday’s paper, in which she sets up a straw man (raising property tax) and hails higher sales taxes as the lesser evil.

And here’s today’s Democrat and Chronicle piece — a survey of reactions to the proposed hike from the ‘burbs. An excerpt:

“It will increase the cost of doing the business — and we’re scared of losing business,” said Mike Terrigino, 46, owner of NapaGino’s restaurant at Penn Fair Plaza in Penfield.

About two-thirds of the additional $73 million raised would come from consumers in their daily purchases of everything from meals at a restaurant to appliances for their homes, county officials say. The remainder would be paid by businesses, in the form of a sales tax on such items as office supplies and gasoline to make deliveries.

With customers already watching their spending, Terrigino worries that some might buy less or dine out less often as a result of a sales tax hike.

His expenses will also go up. Terrigino pays a sales tax on everything from take-out containers and napkins to materials for cleaning. As it is, he pays about $300 a month in sales tax on such items.

Michael Caputo has been blogging extensively about this move. Keep scrolling. Here he’s posted a comparison of how much Rochester gets back from the state sales tax pot (more, per capita, than other New York cities).

Here, he’s got some more interesting factoids — including that New York State”has one of the highest combined state/local sales tax rates in the U.S.”

Personally, I don’t see how raising taxes — any taxes — helps our community. OTOH, we’re enmeshed in such a messy situation at the state level that our options truly are limited.

[tags] Rochester, New York, sales tax hike [/tags]

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7 Responses to Neigh!

  1. You wrote, “the state sales tax pot ” and I read, “the state sales tax on pot.” I thought, “New York actually taxes marijuana??”

    As for the various writers and comments about a tax increase… Well, gee, does it take a genius to figure out that most of us have finite “disposable” income? And if more of it goes to pay for a tax increase, that much less will be spent on dining out and retail purchases?

    Maybe we’re supposed to “make it up on volume.”


  2. P.S. If you want a huge laugh, check out (from my blogroll) m. e ellis’ blog post of yesterday, about waxing.

  3. Keep in mind that the state and county are also vested in rising gasoline prices. Their sales tax revenues have nearly doubled from this source.

  4. Kirsten says:

    John, one of the gardening companies that sends me regular email promos sent one out a month or two ago with a subject line that read something like “Free pot with purchase.” They meant a garden pot of course :-) A few days later they sent out another email apologizing for the “mistake.”

  5. Kirsten says:

    Yeah, Chuck, add that to NY State’s list.

    Did you notice that one of the additions to the new NYS income tax form is a line where you are now to claim, and pay, sales tax on any purchases you made from out of state, over the Internet, if the retailer didn’t collect tax on behalf of NYS?

  6. It’s not new, been there a year or two. They actually get a decent piece of change through this. Not as much as they projected, for some odd reason, though.

  7. Kirsten says:

    Yeah, now that you mention it, I do vaguely remember seeing it before. It seems like it was made a bit more prominent on this year’s form, though. I’ve never realized the prose on a tax form could come across as shrill before :-D

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