Sales tax collections across New York state were $8.5 billion for the first six months of the year, with growth particularly strong in the Mid-Hudson Valley region, according to a report released this morning by state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
“Local sales tax growth is showing sustained improvement across much of the state,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “The upcoming back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons may bolster what has already been a strong start to 2018. But as history has proven, sales tax can be an unpredictable revenue source for our local governments. I urge municipal officials to be cautious if planning for future growth.”
According to DiNapoli’s office, this was the highest half-year increase since 2010 and the fourth consecutive period of strengthening local sales tax collections. Growth during the first half of 2017 was 3.3 percent and during the first six months of 2016 it was 1.7 percent.
The Mid-Hudson region had 5.8 percent growth, while statewide it was 6 percent. Mount Vernon posted 10.6 percent growth in sales tax collections compared with the first half of 2017 with $10.6 million. Yonkers had 6.5 percent growth with $47.1 million, New Rochelle 4.9 percent with $14.4 million and White Plains 3.5 percent with $24.5 million. Figures were not immediately available for the cities of Peekskill and Rye.New York City experienced the strongest growth at 6.9 percent with $250 million in collections, its highest year-over-year increase since the first half of 2013. The amount accounts for 45 percent of the nearly $484 million collected statewide.
The other regions with the highest increases were the Southern Tier and the Mohawk Valley, both at 5. 8 percent; the Capital District at 5.6 percent and Long Island at 5.5 percent. Collections in the Central New York, Finger Lakes and Western New York regions all grew more slowly in comparison
According to the report, the strongest growth was in Hamilton County at 38.9 percent, followed by Sullivan at 18 percent, Fulton at 14.7 percent and Tioga counties at 12.5 percent. The report noted that Hamilton’s growth might be due to “technical adjustments made in collections.”
Countywide, Westchester posted 6.83 percent growth with $270.5 million in sales tax collections. Orange was second in the region with $141 million in collections with 5.9 percent growth. Rockland followed with $105.4 million in collections, Dutchess with $94.1 million, Ulster with $56.8 million, Putnam with $29.8 million and Sullivan with $21.4 million.
The report cited low unemployment – 4.5 percent in June – and steady wage growth, along with high consumer confidence and rising inflation as the economic factors that boosted sale tax collections.