February 8, 2016, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015
DiNapoli: 2015 Sales Tax Collections Drop in 30 Counties
Collections Outside of NYC Grew by Less Than 1%
Annual local sales tax collections declined in 30 of the 57 counties outside of New York City last year, according to a report issued today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. Total collections across the state grew by 3.6 percent, or $552 million, in 2015 compared to 2014. But the increase was nearly exclusively driven by New York City, which saw an increase of $487 million.
“The unpredictability in sales tax collections continues to have financial ramifications for our local governments and their bottom lines,” said DiNapoli. “With little to no growth in sales tax collections, most counties have exercised additional caution when making spending decisions. Local officials should maintain a watchful eye on their collections and make adjustments to their budgets and long-term financial plans should this revenue source slip further.”
DiNapoli’s report found outside of New York City, growth in local sales tax collections was a mere 0.7 percent. By comparison, in 2014 the local growth rate was 1.6 percent and collections grew in 52 of the 57 counties outside of the city. The state’s overall 15-year annual average growth in sales taxes was 4 percent.
Regionally, the strongest sales tax growth in 2015 outside of New York City was in Western New York with a 1.6 percent increase and the Capital District with a 1.5 percent increase.
Other regions, however, experienced declines last year. The North Country had a 2.9 percent drop in collections, the Southern Tier was down 2 percent, Mohawk Valley declined 1.6 percent and Central New York had a slight 0.3 percent dip.
The Comptroller noted that an unusually large adjustment in the fourth quarter resulted in a shift of $238 million from state collections to New York City. The city’s sales tax revenues otherwise rose $249 million (3.7%) for the year.
Additional findings in DiNapoli’s report include:
- Sales tax collections grew by more than 3 percent in only four counties outside of New York City in 2015 – Hamilton, Saratoga, Steuben and Ulster.
- Ten counties experienced a decline of more than 3 percent in 2015 – Allegany, Chemung, Clinton, Delaware, Franklin, Jefferson, Montgomery, Putnam, Schoharie and Tioga; and
- Ten of the 19 cities outside New York City that have a sales tax saw a drop in collections from 2014 to 2015.
For a copy of the report, visit: http://osc.state.ny.us/localgov/pubs/research/salestaxcollections0216.pdf
For access to state and local government spending and more than 50,000 state contracts, visit http://www.openbooknewyork.com/. The easy-to-use website was created by DiNapoli to promote openness in government and provide taxpayers with better access to the financial workings of government.