ALBANY — Sales tax paid by New Yorkers grew sharply in the first five months of the year amid strong inflation but slowed down last month.
The state Comptroller’s Office reported Wednesday that sales tax collections were down more than 20 or even 30% in many upstate counties in June, as the gas tax holiday kicked in.
However, sizable year-over-year increases in the first five months of 2022 left most counties with a net gain of sales tax collections for the second quarter and the second half.
“Local sales tax collections continue to show positive results, but the lower growth in June bears watching,” state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a statement accompanying the release of data Wednesday. “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.”
Every region of the state except New York City collected less sales tax in June 2022 than in June 2021. And New York City had a relatively weak June 2021, so the 52% increase in June 2022 isn’t as impressive as it might appear on its face.
For the first six months of 2022, the eight counties and two cities in the Capital Region that levy a sales tax collected $475 million, 10% more than the first half of 2021. But June 2022 was down 10% from June 2021.
The six counties and four cities of the Mohawk Valley region collected $174 million in sales tax in the first six months of 2022, 5.7% more than last year. But June 2022 was down 26% from June 2021.
The report noted a few other factors contributing upward and downward pressure on sales tax collections: The inflation rate hit 8.6% in the second quarter of 2022 but retail sales grew only 8.1%. There was also solid growth in wages and increased employment.
The following list shows area sales tax collections for January-June 2022 and for June 2022 alone, with the percentage change from the same periods in 2021:
Albany County: $172.4M (14.7%) | $37.4M (4.9%)
Fulton County: $13.7M (5.2%) | $2.5M (-28.6%)
Gloversville: $2.2M (-1.9%) | $0.3M (-39.3%)
Johnstown: $2.6M (15.3%) | $0.5M (-9.8%)
Montgomery County: $21.9M (9.2%) | $4.7M (-16.0%)
Rensselaer County: $57.7M (9.3%) | $10.7M (-12.4%)
Saratoga County: $77.8M (6.9%) | $13.7M (-21.5%)
Saratoga Springs: $7.2M (12.9%) | $1.6M (-2.3%)
Schenectady County: $62.9M (5.3%) | $11.4M (2.4%)
Schoharie County: $10.2M (8.6%) | $2.0M (-22.8%)