First Quarter 2021 Local Sales Taxes Down 3.9 Percent; New York City Declines While the Rest of the State Grows

Local government sales tax collections declined by 3.9 percent, or $173 million, in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year. This is the fourth quarter in a row that collections have dropped year-over-year. However, it is an improvement over the past three quarters. Collections in every region of the State outside of New York City increased over the first quarter of 2020, ranging from 2.4 percent in the Southern Tier to 9.8 percent in the North Country.

Statewide Local Sales Tax Collections in February Decreased by 4.2 Percent

Overall sales tax collections for local governments decreased by 4.2 percent, or $55 million, in February compared to the same month in 2020. Revenues continued to shrink, but the decline last month was less steep than in January (5.9 percent) and December (8.4 percent), and the double-digit drops in collections during the earlier months of the pandemic. All regions in the state experienced collection declines for February, ranging from 0.4 percent in the Mohawk Valley to 11.4 percent in the Finger Lakes.

Statewide Local Sales Tax Collections in January Down 5.9 Percent

Local government sales tax collections declined by 5.9 percent, or $95 million, in January compared to the same month in 2020. The decline is less steep than the 8.4 percent drop in December and not nearly as significant as the double-digit declines in the earlier months of the pandemic (April-June). All but one region – Central New York – in the state experienced a decrease in cash collections; New York City had a 6 percent, or $45 million, decline compared to January 2020.

Accounting for Medicaid-Related Intergovernmental Transfers

The purpose of this bulletin is to provide accounting guidance to counties for Medicaid-related intergovernmental transfers (IGTs). Medicaid-related IGTs are funds that are transferred from counties that own or operate health-related facilities (e.g. hospitals, nursing homes, mental health clinics, etc.) to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). These funds, along with the funds provided by the federal government, are used to fund the Medicaid payments made by the NYSDOH directly to the counties.

Statewide November Local Sales Tax Collections Down 7.1 Percent

Local government sales tax collections declined by 7.1 percent, or $102 million, in November compared to the same month in 2019. The decline is steeper than in October, but not as bad as the double-digit declines in the earlier months (April-June) of the pandemic. All but five counties saw declines in overall collections in November, and New York City had a 6.5 percent, or $45 million, decline.

Lease Classification Changes as Required by GASB Statement No. 87

The purpose of this bulletin is to inform local government and school district officials of the upcoming new requirements regarding the classification of leases for accounting and reporting purposes, as required by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 87, Leases (Statement 87). This bulletin explains the GASB’s new definition of a lease (including outlining the types of leases that are excluded by this new standard) and an explanation of what a lease term is per Statement 87.

Statewide Local Sales Tax Collections Decline 5.2 Percent in October

Local government sales tax revenue declined by 5.2 percent, or $74.4 million, in October compared to the same month in 2019. This drop was less severe than previous declines since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the spring when collections fell by double-digits. New York City had a 5.3 percent, or $34.5 million, decline in revenue, and all but eight counties in the state saw drops in collections for October as well.

Voting From Home: Summary of the 2020-21 School District Budget Vote

Participation in school district budget votes has been relatively low, particularly since the implementation of the tax cap. In response to the pandemic, school districts in New York State were required to provide all residents with an absentee ballot for the 2020-21 school budget vote. This new process likely contributed to an increase in participation: triple the number of votes were cast compared to the prior year.

Third Quarter 2020 Local Sales Tax Collections Down 9.5 Percent; New York City’s Decline Offsets Uptick in the Rest of State

Statewide local sales tax collections in the third quarter of 2020 declined by 9.5 percent, or $452 million, over the same quarter in 2019. This decrease, while alarming in a typical year, was still a marked improvement from the 27.1 percent drop in the second quarter, which reflected the peak of the economic impact to date from the COVID-19 pandemic. New York City’s steep decline of nearly 22 percent in sales tax revenue was the main driver behind the overall drop in local government collections in the third quarter.

Understanding Local Government Sales Tax in New York State - 2020 Update

New York State imposes a "general sales tax" at a single rate on most goods and some services. Counties and cities can impose their own local sales tax in addition to the State rate. Local sales tax revenue is a major part of local government finances, amounting to $16.9 billion in 2019. This report is an update to the Office of the State Comptroller’s March 2015 publication on local government sales taxes in New York State.