ALBANY — Sales tax collections rose statewide and locally in November over the same period last year, according to a new report from State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
In Montgomery County, sales tax collections totaled $3.1 million in November, up 8.6 % over the $2.8 million collected in November 2021.
Fulton County recorded a 5.2 % increase, with $2.1 million collected last month.
Fulton and Montgomery County Tourism Director Ann Boles said the number marked a positive sign with the holiday shopping season in full swing.
“I think it’s a positive outlook for this year and the future in the region,” she said on Thursday. “We campaign to have people shop locally. Our community has a lot to offer and it’s exciting to see people are aware of what we have here and spending their dollars locally.”
Boles said that she has been hearing reports of strong holiday sales from members of the Fulton and Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“I think their online sales continue to be strong,” she said. “With events coming back better than ever, people are supporting the events and also shopping at the stores when they’re open. With the parades and holiday events specifically, that really helps with the storefronts with brick and mortar sales as well.”
Statewide, sales tax collections were up 8.8 % over the same period in 2021, with local collections totaling $1.72 billion in November, up $139 million compared to the same time last year.
“November marked another solid month for sales tax collections for local governments,” DiNapoli noted in a statement. “Although many forecasters are predicting that national retail sales will be strong this holiday season, local officials should continue to monitor the economic factors impacting sales tax when estimating their own revenue projections for the remainder of the year.”
Sales tax collections increased 4 % in Schenectady County in November over last year, with $9.3 million collected last month, with Albany County leaping 10 %, with $27.3 million collected in November.
Tom O’Connor of the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce said the rising numbers auger well for local small businesses during the holiday season.
“For many of our local businesses, the holiday is where they’re looking to make themselves financially secure,” he said on Thursday. “They rely on local consumers shopping in their stores during this time.”
O’Connor said that while sales tax collections are on the rise as the COVID-19 pandemic potentially recedes, many businesses are still facing challenges in the current economy.
“Of course our businesses big and small are still faced with inflation, supply chain issues and staffing issues,” he said. “But hopefully these latest numbers on sales tax collection are positive for our local economy and particularly our small businesses.”