ALBANY — County-level sales tax collections were higher in the first half of 2019 than in the first half of 2018, the state Comptroller’s Office reported Wednesday.
Collections increased 3.4 percent in the first quarter of 2019 and 3.2 percent in the second quarter, it said, noting also that wages and consumer spending also showed only moderate growth. Also factoring into the equation was a decline in prices of gasoline.
New York City showed the strongest growth in the state at 4.4% year over year. The statewise average was 3.3%. The Capital region was up 2.8% and Mohawk Valley sales tax revenue climbed just 1% in the first half of 2019.
Fifteen counties, all upstate, saw year-over-year declines in sales tax revenue, some due to technical corrections made by the state Department of Taxation and Finance rather than an actual decline in consumer spending.
Four cities in and around the Capital Region levy their own sales taxes; revenue increased in Glens Falls and Saratoga Springs and decreased in Gloversville and Johnstown.
The Comptroller’s Office noted that a policy change made in the 2019-2020 state budget would impact county-level sales tax revenue in the second half of this year: Some $59 million worth of Aid and Incentives for Municipalities funding will now be deducted from county sales tax revenue rather than be paid for by the state.
The greatest impact in the Capital Region is expected to be in Schenectady and Saratoga counties ($500,000 to $1 million) and Albany County ($1 million to $4 million).
The state budget projected that increased sales tax collection on internet sales in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision would more than offset these losses.
The following list shows sales tax collections for the first half of 2019 and the change from the same period of 2018:
- Albany $139M 2.4%
- Columbia $21.3M 5.3%
- Fulton $10.46M -7.9%
- Greene $16.11M 4.9%
- Montgomery $15.48M 3.9%
- Rensselaer $45.85M 5.8%
- Saratoga $60.31M 1.0%
- Schenectady $50.57M 2.1%
- Schoharie $7.34M -0.6%
- Warren $24.2M 0.1%
- Washington $10.35M 6.0%
- Glens Falls $1.67M 3.6%
- Gloversville $1.9M -15.6%
- Johnstown $1.98M -0.9%
- Saratoga Springs $5.9M 6.4%
- Capital District $375.19M 2.8%
- Mohawk Valley $134.59M 1.0%
- Statewide $8.78M 3.3%