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November 9, 2009

 

DiNapoli: Cash for Clunkers Helped Sales Tax Revenues but County Collections Still Down 7.2 Percent for 2009

New York City Experiences Similar Decline

The Car Allowance Rebate System helped increase sales tax collections at auto dealerships across upstate New York and Long Island in the third quarter by $17.1 million, an increase of 10.4 percent over the same period last year, according to an analysis released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. However, sales tax collections outside of New York City are still down for the first nine months of the year by 7.2 percent. In New York City, auto sales tax collections increased 3.6 percent for the quarter and overall sales tax collections have declined 11.4 percent for the calendar year.

"The Cash for Clunkers program gave a small sales tax boost to counties statewide," DiNapoli said. "But sales tax revenues are still down more than 7 percent for the year. That's put a lot of pressure on local governments. And, even with the holiday season approaching, sales tax revenues will still be down significantly for the year. Now more than ever, local governments need to manage taxpayer dollars very closely. Taxpayers can't afford to make up the difference in lost sales tax revenues."

While every region of the state experienced an increase in auto sales tax collections in the third quarter, the Capital and Mid-Hudson regions saw the largest increases with 15 percent and 12.9 percent respectively. New York City saw an increase in auto sales tax revenues of 3.6 percent, or $1.4 million for the same time period. Outside of New York City, Central New York saw its auto sales tax increase the least by 4.1 percent for the quarter.

The increase in auto sales tax revenue was not enough to reverse the nine-month trend of decreasing county sales tax revenues. County sales tax collections outside of New York City were down 7.9 percent for the third quarter. Without the Car Allowance Rebate System to boost auto dealership sales tax revenues, these county sales tax collections would have been down 9.8 percent for the quarter, a difference of 1.9 percentage points. For the first nine months of 2009, county sales tax in upstate New York and Long Island fell 7.2 percent or $365 million from the same period last year. In New York City, collections fell $424 million or 11.4 percent for the calendar year so far.

To view DiNapoli's analysis, visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/pubs/research/snapshot/1109lgsnapshot.pdf

To view a county-by-county comparison of year-to-date county sales tax revenues and a breakdown of third quarter auto sales tax collections, visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/pubs/research/snapshot/cfcfactsheet.pdf.

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