A 0.25 percent increase in the Orange County sales tax received support from the Newburgh City Council at Monday’s city council meeting. The resolution was introduced at last Thursday’s city council work session.
“I’m really excited about this resolution,” said Mayor Torrance Harvey. Harvey proceeded to thank Orange County officials for their part in the tax increase. The current sales tax rate is 3.75.
The tax increase was approved by county officials on January 30. If approved by the New York State Government, the tax rate will increase to 4 percent on December 1. The sales tax was last increased in 2004.
“When we talk about gun violence, when we talk about the challenges we have in our infrastructure,” said Harvey, all those things take some significant financial resources and you can’t keep taxing residents to address those issues.”
The city currently receives $12 million from the county sales tax. The tax increase would bring about $750,000 to the city on an annual basis.
“This is one way we can look at taxes that may not directly affect us and our residents when we talk about sales taxes,” said Harvey.
Harvey ended his statement explaining he is still aiming for a 1 percent payroll tax on nonresidents of the city. He is currently looking for state support on the tax. He’s also interested in a gross receipts tax. Harvey explained he’s been exploring more than one option.
“We’re not collecting the amount of money we should be collecting,” said Councilwoman Patty Sofokles during the council’s final comment. “The one percent tax is one of the ways to do it.”
Editor's note: The amount of the increase was misstated in an earier version of this story.The council supports increasing the tax rate TO 4 percent from the current 3.75 percent.