While housing sales have increased in Westchester and Putnam counties, mortgage tax collections were lower for the first half of 2012 than they were for the same period in 2011. Westchester took in just under $6.2 million, compared to nearly $6.6 million in the first six months of 2011. Putnam collected just under $1.15 million this year, down from more than $1.2 million in the same period in 2011.
In Rockland County, mortgage taxes collected were roughly the same as they were from January through June 2011. The county’s share of the tax this year was $1.66 million. County officials had hoped to increase their share of the tax from 25 cents to 50 cents to help alleviate Rockland’s fiscal crisis, but they were unsuccessful.
The mortgage tax brings in much less revenue to the counties than it did when the housing market was on its historic rise in the mid-2000s. Westchester County took in just under $40 million in 2006 and Rockland budgeted $11.35 million. As mortgage and sales taxes have fallen in the poor economy, property taxes have had to pick up the slack.
Read more about this issue in today’s Journal News.