Latimer’s Magic Lamp

Written By: Robert Cox

NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Westchester County Executive George Latimer has a magic lamp.

He is certain that if he rubs his magic lamp long enough and hard enough then you will believe he has turned a massive 14% tax increase into a teeny, tiny little 1% tax increase.

That’s some lamp.

On Valentines Day, Latimer trotted out his magic lamp during his presser to announce his new tax plan which would raise the Westchester County Sales Tax — and that of various towns and villages in the county — from 7 3/8% to 8 3/8%.

The amount of growth in the sales tax rate is 1% which he accurately described in his press release.

But then George gets confused.

As we explained yesterday, Latimer’s proposed increase is to 8.375% on a current tax rate of 7.375%. To calculate rate of growth, subtract the past number (7.375) from the future number (8.375) then divide by the past number (7.375).

(8.375 – 7.375)/ (7.375)

1.000 / 7.375

0.136 or 14%

There is no getting around math no matter how many magic lamps George thinks he has.

In his official statement on February 14th. Latimer refers accurately to the change as an “additional 1% in sales tax”.

Local politicians and every media outlet in Westchester perverted Latimer’s accurate statement to inaccurately declare Latimer was proposing a 1% tax increase which he is not. They are confusing (deliberately or not, you choose) sales tax rate with the sales tax. The sale tax rate is going up 1%, from 7 3/8 to 8 3/8. The sales tax is increasing 14%.

We had thought Latimer stopped reading Talk of the Sound after we (accurately) reported that he lied to New Rochelle police when he struck a car then crashed into a fence during his most recent campaign. And we were sure he stopped reading Talk of the Sound after we (accurately) reported he lied to State Senate colleagues to skip budget votes to take his gal-pal (not his wife as he told them) to London. And he will definitely stop reading Talk of the Sound if we post the New Jersey beach photos we saved for a rainy day.

But for now, apparently, he is still reading Talk of the Sound because we are the only media outlet that pointed out the phony media narrative that his 14% sales tax increase is a 1% sales tax increase and today he is tweeting about it, at us.

Latimer tweeted:

“You buy a $100 lamp. You pay $7.38 in tax. You buy the same lamp and pay $8.38 in tax. You paid $1 more in tax. $1/$100 is a 1% increase in the tax you paid.”

That he may actually believe this nonsense is troubling as he is the top elected official in the county and has to deal with serious issues like potential nuclear meltdowns, terror attacks and lamp sales.

We are here to help.

Dear George,

Sorry Romeo but you have must have skipped Econ 101.

We promise to go slow as we walk you through it.

The tax you would pay today on your magic lamp is $7.38.

The tax you would pay tomorrow on your magic lamp (if your plan is approved) would be $8.38.

You would pay $1 more in tax.

So far, so good.

But dude, seriously, you think when you are calculating growth rate in taxes you divide the taxed dollar amount into the price of the lamp? This is apples and oranges!

You do not divide the $1 into the cost of the lamp you divide the $1 into the base tax of $7.38.

And no matter how much you wish it were not true, 1 / 7.38 = 14%

The sales tax RATE is increasing 1% but the sales tax is going up 14%.

Stick to politics buddy, math is not your strong suit.

Hope that helps!

For those still bamboozled by Latimer’s magic lamp, set the lamp aside. It is meant to distract you from George’s math: he multiplied by 100 and them divided by 100 which is the same as doing nothing.

UPDATE: an explanatory video

RELATED:

Westchester Media Pushes Phony “1% Sales Tax Increase“ Narrative on Latimer’s 14% Tax Hike

New York State Senator George Latimer in Serious Undisclosed Car Crash Over the Summer, 2 Injured

Married New York State Senator George Latimer Skipped Annual Budget Vote to Jet Off to London with Gal Pal Judge

9 thoughts on “Latimer’s Magic Lamp”

  1. What’s phony is calling a 1% increase something else. It is ideology and partisanship run wild. What U said was accurate.

    If you buy a $100 item, you pay $7.38 in taxes if the rate is 7 3/8%.

    If the rate is 8 3/8, as it already is in NR, Mt. Vernon, WPlains – and less than Yonkers at 8 5/8% – you pay $8.38 in taxes.

    That’s $1 more. Soon it, doubt it, doubt it but $1 more is 1% increase in taxes on a $100 purchase.

    Let the average person decide who’s portraying this correctly. It is all about politics and those who ready TOTS know their continually opposition to anything any Democrat does.

    1. George,

      I realize I have the advantage on you. I have a graduate degree in economics from the most prestigious school of economics in the world (Go Maroons!). I was fortunate to have had Nobel Prize winners teach a quarter of the classes I took at UChicago. So, I will be as patient as need be to educate you on economics, finance, math, statistics, and tax policy. So, please do not get worked up about your ignorance of these subjects. I am here to help!

      Where you are confused is you are trying to relate the $1 tax increase to the purchased product (your magic lamp) when the mathematical formula to calculate the increase in taxes (growth rate) relates the $1 tax increase to what the tax is now.

      We agree the buyer of the magic lamp today pays $7.38 and under your plan would pay $1 more. The sale tax increased FROM $7.38 TO $8.38. I know its hard because you love lamp but forget about the magic lamp for a moment just look at what the tax was and the amount of the increase. You need to relate the proposed tax increase to the current tax – it goes up $1 from $7.38 so you evaluate the increase using the current tax as the basis for the calculation not the price of your imaginary lamp.

      That is why you divide $1 by $7.38 and how you know the tax increase is 14% not 1%.

      To my recollection George, I never wrote a critical word about you until 2017 when you lied to the police, lied to me and then lied about me regarding your crash on Wilmot Road so I will set aside for now your hysterical ranting about ideology and partisanship as it is as misplaced as it is irrelevant.

      That is the beauty of math, there is no Republican or Democratic way to divide 1 by 7.38 and it always equals 14% no matter how many magic lamps you try to sell to voters.

    2. To reply using the false narrative of partisanship is the ultimate partisan hypocrisy. If the CE doesn’t realize that’s this IS a 14% increase we in Westchester are in grave trouble. The CE touts his vast business experience yet fails the most basic math equation.

    3. Mr. Latimer, why cant taxes ever go down? We continue to see decreases in services provided each and every year, and at the same time taxes continue to increase. Same with State, city and school taxes. Eventually consumers are going to get fedup and leave, the rich have already started fleeing. Are you proud of raising taxes? Are you proud to say you live and work in the most taxed state in the country? Are you proud to say you represent a group that have an average property tax of $18,000 a year? What do I get in return for my $24,000 a year in property tax? A failed school system riddled with corruption and wasteful spending. Potholes on every read, ever increasing tolls and mass transit cost. Water, cable, phone, internet, electric and gas bills where 40% is taxes and fees, Local governments giving millions away in subsidies to contractors and current property owners footing the bill for the next 30 years till these tax abatement expire. For these same corporations to charge $1,500 a month to rent a studio apartment. Do you not see the problem. Westchester County Government should not exist, it is another layer of waste. We have too much government and duplicate services who all fail at doing their jobs, yet want more and more in taxes. I cannot wait to save enough to get out of NYS its so sad, I love NY, but eventually I will be taxed out of a place I call home for most of my life. Oh and your math is incorrect, its 1/7.38 = 14%.

      1. Both sales and property taxes are regressive taxes so it will hurt the people trying to make ends meet the most. But at the end of the day taxes in general are bad for everyone when it is wasted as mentioned above. CUT SPENDING!!!

        1. Property taxes are fundamentally regressive because, if two individuals in the same tax jurisdiction live in properties with the same values, they pay the same amount of property tax, regardless of their incomes. However, they are not purely regressive in practice because they are based on the value of the property.

  2. “Let the average person decide who’s portraying this correctly.”

    Well I’d have to say that Robs math is spot on and that it’s overly apparent that George Latimer never met a tax he didn’t like, even if it comes at the expense of further putting the screws to the middle and lower class in Westchester.

  3. The biggest problem is that those who cannot afford the $100 magic lamp are the ones that will be most impacted/hurt by Latimer’s 14% increase 😡

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