Local government sales tax collections grew by 21.1%, or $901 million, in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period last year, according to a report released by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. Collections for the three-month period totaled nearly $5.2 billion, with growth at least partially driven by inflation, which hit a 40-year-high in March.
“Local sales tax collections continue to come in strong. While local governments are collecting more, they are also dealing with some of the same increased costs that consumers and private businesses are,” DiNapoli said. “With prices rising, we’re watching closely to see what impact the rate of inflation and economic volatility is having on New York’s economic recovery.”
New York City’s collections in the first quarter grew by 28.5% compared to the same period last year and exceeded prepandemic levels for the second straight quarter after remaining below prepandemic levels for most of 2020 and 2021. The city’s collections have taken longer to recover from the effects of the pandemic compared to the rest of the state.
Outside New York City, nearly every county had double-digit growth in the first quarter. Broome County saw the highest growth at 24.3%, followed by Yates County (22.2%), and Schuyler and Columbia counties (21%). Sullivan County had the lowest growth at 6.6%.
Of the cities that impose their own sales tax (not including New York City), Norwich saw the biggest jump in the first quarter at 30.8%, followed by Johnstown (29.2%) and Ithaca (28.6%). Gloversville had the lowest growth at 4.6%.
The report notes that the recently enacted state budget provides for a partial suspension of certain state taxes on gasoline from June to December 2022, amounting to a reduction of 16 cents per gallon.