(WNY News Now) – Local government sales tax collections in New York state soared to $5.9 billion in the third quarter of 2023, marking a 3.6% increase over the same period last year, according to a report by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. This growth trend, though slowing from pandemic highs, suggests economic resilience and signals a need for prudent fiscal management.
Albany – Local government sales tax collections in New York state for the third quarter of 2023 reached $5.9 billion, reflecting a significant 3.6% increase compared to the same period in 2022, as disclosed in a report by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. This surge in revenue signifies a welcome boost for local governments, though it also underscores the importance of prudent budgeting practices.
DiNapoli’s report highlights several key findings:
Stable Monthly Growth:
The growth in sales tax collections remained relatively steady throughout the third quarter of 2023. Across the three months (July, August, and September), growth ranged from 3% to 4%, indicating a consistent recovery.
NYC Growth Strengthens:
New York City’s sales tax growth, which had been moderating since the second quarter of 2022, saw a notable resurgence in the third quarter of 2023. During this period, the city’s sales tax collections totaled $2.5 billion, exhibiting a robust 4.9% year-over-year increase, equivalent to nearly $119 million. Contributing to this revival is the return of more workers to offices and the near pre-pandemic levels of international travel, though some sectors of the city’s economy continue to recover.
A significant majority of New York’s counties reported positive year-over-year sales tax growth during the third quarter of 2023. This statewide increase amounted to 2.4%. Notable growth leaders included Allegany (17.1%), Livingston (15.6%), and Saratoga (12.1%), while Lewis County experienced the most substantial decline at -10.2%.
Among the 18 cities outside of New York City that independently impose their own sales tax, 13 enjoyed growth in the third quarter of 2023. Norwich led the way with a remarkable 35.9% growth, while Auburn faced a decline of -6.5%.
Notably, despite a 9.5% decline in gas prices in the third quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, sales tax collections on motor fuels increased by nearly 3% year over year. This could be attributed to several counties participating in the state’s “gas tax holiday” during the third quarter of 2022, which temporarily reduced the taxable amount on each gallon of gasoline sold and impacted overall motor fuel collections. By January 2023, however, nearly all participating counties had reverted to their standard taxation methods.
Overall, the report indicates a positive trend in local government sales tax collections, with a 3.6% increase in the third quarter of 2023, following a similar increase in the second quarter. Although this growth rate is slower than the peak pandemic levels, it suggests an economy that is showing resilience and consistency. State Comptroller DiNapoli underscores the importance of local governments shoring up their budgets in preparation for potential economic downturns, emphasizing the need for continued fiscal responsibility in managing these gains.