Saratoga Springs and Johnstown ranked among the top cities in the state for rising sales tax collections in the third quarter of 2022, according to a new report from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
The comptroller announced that local government sales tax collections grew by 10.2% in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021, in large part due to double digit growth in New York City.
Of the 18 cities in New York that collect their own sales tax outside the five boroughs, Saratoga Springs ranked second with a 24.3 % increase in sales tax revenue between July and September, with the City of Johnstown in third at 12.1%.
Saratoga Springs Mayor Ron Kim attributed the tax sales boost to the summer season at Saratoga Race Course and the city’s surrounding tourist attractions.
“I think it’s because we’ve had a very good track season and tourism season,” he said. “As we’ve come out of the pandemic, people want to visit Saratoga Springs. So that brings in tourist dollars and we’ve seen that in the tax revenue.”
Kim said that he’s hoping that fourth quarter sales tax projections will be similarly positive for Saratoga Springs.
“We are seeing people coming into the city to visit even after the track season,” Kim said. “It’s become more of a year-round destination. The fall has been very, very good for us. So we’re optimistic.”
Johnstown Mayor Amy Praught credited the city’s rise in sales tax revenue over the summer to the municipality’s selection of retail locations.
“We have a great community with a lot of retail in our area and we’ve been one of the highest,” she said of the city’s tax revenue.
Johnstown Treasurer Thomas Herr said there were several reasons why city sales tax receipts rose over the previous three months.
“Some of the factors include the increase in gas [prices] and more people spending locally in our local stores instead of driving to Albany to do shopping,” he said.
Herr said that with the holiday shopping season imminent, the city hopes the trend line will continue to rise for the rest of the year.
“We’ve been up every month for this whole year as compared to last year by quite a bit,” he said. “So hopefully that will continue.”
DiNapoli’s report noted that while overall collections for the counties and cities outside of New York City grew by 5.3% to $2.9 billion in the third quarter, that total is worth slightly less than the $2.8 billion collected in the same quarter last year when adjusted for inflation.
“New York City’s sales tax growth in the third quarter, after relatively weaker collections in 2020 and 2021, bolstered overall growth for the state,” DiNapoli noted in a statement. “Most local governments are experiencing sales tax revenue growth, even as they struggle with higher costs from inflation just like consumers and businesses. We will continue to monitor how inflation is affecting local governments and the state’s economy.”