ALBANY — Local government sales tax collections increased 12.7% in 2022 over the prior year, according to a new report from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
Sales tax collections in the state totaled $22.1 billion in 2022, up $2.5 billion over the 2021 total.
The sales tax collections were boosted by a 20.6% increase year-over-year in New York City, as the five boroughs continue to rebound with increased domestic and international tourism as the pandemic recedes.
Every county in the state saw year-over-year growth in sales tax collections in 2022, with Montgomery County ranking third in the state with a 12.4% increase.
Robert Purtell, chairman of the Montgomery County Legislature, cited several factors for the county’s increase.
“It’s fantastic,” Purtell said of the sales tax boost. “The increased prices on all sorts of goods, like gasoline, diesel, lumber, and we’ve got a pretty extensive sales tax base on Route 30. Also, the increase due to online sales tax collection.”
Montgomery County collected $46.5 million in sales tax in 2022, a $5.1 million increase over 2021.
Purtell said the county would explore using the added revenue to cut tax rates for county residents.
“Certainly it will go right into fund balance,” he said. “Right now we’re looking at our fund balance and hopefully we can use it to reduce property taxes.”
Fulton County collected $28.9 million in sales tax last year, representing a 7.1% increase over the year before.
“Certainly anytime sales tax is growing it’s a good sign for local economies, especially local governments that also depend primarily on property tax,” Fulton County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said Monday. “So, anytime you see that sales tax gradually going up it’s good news because it takes pressure off the property tax.”
Stead credited the increased tourism to the region as one driving factor in the 2022 increase.
“I think tourism in this Fulton-Montgomery region, even Saratoga County, has put a lot of emphasis in the last couple of years on tourism and recreation growth,” he said. “We saw a lot of interest in the upstate New York region in the Adirondacks and so forth. During COVID and post-COVID, I think there’s been a renewed interest in outdoor recreation and spending in those areas and traveling in this area.”
Albany County tallied $356.4 million in sales tax in 2022, a 10.6% increase over 2021, while Schenectady County totaled $126.2 million, representing a 4.2% boost over the $121.1 million the county collected in 2021.
“The pandemic created significant sales tax volatility over the past few years, first with a major decline, then with a strong rebound,” DiNapoli noted in a press release. “Sales tax growth has remained strong for a sustained stretch as consumers resumed spending relatively quickly after pandemic shutdowns ended. Additionally, the state implemented policies just prior to the pandemic that ensured more online sales were being fully taxed.”
Purtell said he expects the sales tax figures to remain high in 2023.
“I don’t see many prices coming down in the next year,” he said. “I think that the trend is always that prices increase. As long as that stays that way, we’ll be in good shape.”
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