NYS Comptroller Says Local Sales Tax Collections Up More Than 21 Percent

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Aug 18, 2021

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced that sales tax collections have spiked by more than 21 percent compared with last year. Local governments last month brought in close to $1.6 billion, up by $276 million from July of last year. For New York City in particular, collections totaled $649 million, a 14.2 percent increase compared with the same time last year, representing $81 million in extra revenue. Every county outside the city also saw year-over-year growth in collections, ranging from 17.3 percent in Lewis County to 35.7 percent in Wayne County. In terms of regions, according to the attached spreadsheet, the Finger Lakes region saw the biggest increase, 30.2  percent, compared with last year. 

The comptroller said the jump was an encouraging sign. 

"Last month’s impressive sales tax performance reflects this year’s strengthening economy and positive jobs numbers,” DiNapoli said. “Overall collections around this time last year were severely weakened by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. New York’s local governments are seeing much stronger collections in 2021. However, with recent increases in infection rates occurring across the state, local officials must continue to monitor changing economic conditions and maintain vigilance when it comes to their finances.”

Compared with other months, the July data could be a sign of a slowing economy. While July was the fourth straight month of increases, it had the lowest rate of increase of the four. The recovery began after a dismal March, which saw a 1.2 percent contraction, capping off an overall dismal 11 months. In April, though, collections soared by 45.7 percent. They grew again in May by 57.8 percent, but then June saw slightly tapered progress: collections growing by 46.1 percent. July's numbers, while still representing growth, are less than half of June's. The next report will reveal whether this is the start of a new trend or a hiccup in an otherwise record growth period. 


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