Legislator Falciglia: ‘Repeal Cross-County, Cross-State Sales Tax Requirement’

Charles J. Falciglia

Outreach Launched With Assembly Members As State Legislature Vote Needed

The Rockland County Legislature has unanimously approved a resolution that asks the state to repeal a sales tax requirement that penalizes Rockland residents who make purchases out-of-county and out-of-state.
Legislator Charles Falciglia, the main sponsor of the resolution, said the tax requirement just goes too far.
“I brought this resolution because I believe this tax is patently unfair and amounts to nothing more than the state picking our pockets,” Legislator Falciglia said.
The tax is particularly unfair to Rockland residents who shop in Bergen County, N.J., for no other reason than geographic convenience and logistics – not to save sales tax, Legislator Falciglia said. The sales tax rate in Bergen County, and most of New Jersey generally, is 6.65 percent while in Rockland County it is 8.375 percent, he noted.
Known as the Sales and Use Tax Cross Jurisdictional Liability Requirement, the tax applies to all individual purchases under $1,000. Individuals are required to pay the difference between the sales tax rate of counties they make purchases in – in-state or out – if that rate is lower than the county they reside in if they bring that purchase back home, which is usually the case.
For example, if you live in Rockland but make a purchase in Bergen County and bring the purchase back into Rockland, you are required to pay the difference in taxes to New York State. In this case, 1.725 percent on the price of the purchased item – the difference between the 6.65 percent you paid in Bergen and the 8.375 percent collected in Rockland.
The requirement has been in effect for about 15 years. Residents pay any monies owed when they file their state tax returns. In lieu of doing your own calculation and keeping records, the requirement allows you to use a chart that is provided based on your federal adjusted gross income, even though the correlation is subjective.
“This tax also penalizes the most honest among us who honor the requirement as opposed to the majority who ignore it, intentionally or unintentionally,” Legislator Falciglia said. “The law is also unenforceable as it would cost more to investigate and prove liability than the amount collected.”
Further, Legislator Falciglia said, “New York State collects reciprocal tax from New Jersey residents and residents from other states that more than offset any loss we would have, but the state, of course, doesn’t look at it that way.”
Legislator Falciglia has already discussed the repeal of this state requirement with members of the Assembly. The state Legislature would have to vote to repeal the requirement.