Local sales tax collections in New York state totaled more than $5.5 billion in the second quarter of 2022 (April-June), an increase of 12.2% or nearly $604 million compared to the same quarter last year, according to a new report issued by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. April and May collections grew by 15.7% and 16.7%, respectively, while June increased 6.5%, marking the first time since March 2021 that the overall monthly year-over-year growth dipped below double-digits.
“Local sales tax collections continue to show positive results, but the lower growth in June bears watching,” DiNapoli said. “The slowdown reflects, in part, the temporary reduction in local sales taxes on gasoline in 24 counties, along with a possible return to more typical growth rates after the dips and rebounds caused by the COVID pandemic.”
DiNapoli noted second quarter growth over last year continued to be strong in New York City, while growth in the rest of the state slowed. The city’s collections increased by 24.9%, from a relatively weak $1.9 billion in April-June 2021 to $2.4 billion. In contrast, year-over-year growth in total collections for the counties and cities in the rest of the state slowed to 2.6% over the same period last year, going from $2.7 billion to $2.8 billion. Only a handful of counties saw more than 5% year-over-year growth in second quarter sales tax collections and 31 counties had declines.
Most of the decreases were seen in upstate counties whose collections, for the most part, had rebounded quickly after the first wave of the pandemic in the spring of 2020 and went on to experience significant growth up until recently. Even though many counties and cities outside of New York City experienced second quarter declines, their first half of 2022 was still quite strong. In total, these collections increased by 8.3%, or $414 million, and nearly every county and city saw their collections grow, ranging from 0.2% to 16.3%.
DiNapoli said local officials should continue to closely monitor changing economic conditions as well as other factors that may impact sales tax collections and maintain vigilance when it comes to their finances. If sales tax collections are entering a period of slower year-over-year growth, then local officials need to be prepared to make adjustments, especially as the cost of goods and services continues to rise.
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