County ‘Buy Local’ efforts a success, sales tax revenue increases
22 Jan, 2013 - Josh Williams
LIVINGSTON COUNTY — County officials are reporting a surge in sales tax revenue for the end of 2012, and are crediting a successful innovative “Buy Local” campaign.
The New York State Office of Tax and Finance has released the 2012 year-end tax return numbers for counties in New York and Livingston County showed tremendous growth versus 2011 performance.
According to a press release from Livingston County, sales tax returns totaled $29,856,074.98, a 7% increase versus 2011. Statewide, the average annual increase was 3.2%. The sales tax rate in Livingston County is 8%, with returns equally split between New York State and the County. The County, in turn, shares a portion of their 4% with Towns and Villages.
County Administrator Ian Coyle cited the budget impact of the numbers. “Every dollar we raise in sales taxes, generally speaking, is one less dollar we have to raise in the property tax levy. The County has traditionally budgeted conservatively for these revenues, so moderate growth is an unexpected, positive outcome.”
Since 2011, the County has spearheaded a “Buy Local” effort aimed at keeping more commerce inside the county borders and helping businesses, small and large alike, that pay county taxes. The Find It In Livingston campaign, coordinated by the Livingston County Area Chamber of Commerce under contract with the Livingston County Development Corporation, is a source of pride for the County.
Julie Marshall, Director of Economic Development, sees a connection between the campaign and sales tax returns. “The efforts to fill vacant storefronts through the Downtown Revitalization Program together with the fall “Cash Mob”, Dine In Livingston Campaign, and Holiday Shop Livingston Campaign, have all played a key role in the County’s increase in sales tax revenue. Shoppers are able to find it in Livingston County.”