Local government sales tax collections in July increased by 21.2% over the same month in 2020, marking the fourth consecutive month that collections exceeded 2020 results, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today. Collections totaled close to $1.6 billion, up $276 million from July of last year.
“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.”
July’s significant growth in local sales taxes reflects the fact that collections during the same month of 2020 were weak, with sales activity still recovering from the first wave of the pandemic. However, collections were also strong even by comparison with pre-pandemic 2019, growing 11.2%, or $159 million, over July of that year.
New York City’s collections totaled $649 million, an increase of 14.2% or $81 million compared to July 2020. Every county outside of New York City also saw year-over-year collections for July grow by double digits, ranging from 17.3% in Lewis County to 35.7% in Wayne County.
During the last month of each calendar quarter, the state Department of Taxation and Finance reconciles quarterly distributions against what had been reported by sales tax vendors for the reporting quarter and adjusts payments to local jurisdictions in those months upward or downward accordingly.
During the other months, including July, the payments are based on estimates. The next reconciliation will be reported in mid-October and will provide more information on the regional picture of sales tax collections for the third quarter (July-September) of 2021.
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