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DiNapoli: Local sales tax collections up 1.6% in first quarter


Thu, Apr 25th 2024 08:30 pm

Submitted by the Office of New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli

Local government sales tax collections totaled $5.6 billion in the first calendar quarter (January-March) of 2024, an increase of 1.6%, or $87.3 million, compared to the same quarter last year, the lowest rate of growth since the first quarter in 2021, according to a report released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. This growth was largely driven by New York City, with several upstate regions experiencing a year-over-year decline for the quarter.

“Local sales tax collections in the first quarter showed modest year-over-year growth, led by New York City and its resurgent hospitality industry,” DiNapoli said. “The numbers from the city signal a healthy tax base and a return to its pre-pandemic role as a major driver of sales tax growth in the state. Collections outside the city were relatively flat, resulting from a variety of economic influences.”

Tourism strong again in New York City

In the first quarter of 2024, New York City saw a 3.2%, or $79.4 million, increase in collections, accounting for nearly all statewide growth. The city’s first quarter collections represented over 45% of total statewide collections for the first time since 2019, after having dipped to 41%, on average, in 2020 and 2021.

New York City’s growth reflects a tourism industry that has nearly fully recovered from the effects of the pandemic, in terms of the number of visitors and the economic activity being generated. In addition, hotel occupancy has improved and both business travel and Broadway attendance are seeing increased activity.

Rest of state remains flat

First quarter collections for the counties and cities in the rest of the state, in aggregate, were virtually flat (-0.03%), year over year. This marked the first time that quarterly collections have not grown since the first quarter of 2021, though it was not unusual to see flat growth, or even declines, on a quarterly basis prior to the pandemic.

On a county-by-county basis, Westchester County had the strongest growth at 12.7%, followed by the counties of Sullivan (12.4%) and Allegany (7.3%). Yates County had the steepest decline at 7.1%, followed by Franklin County (6.8%), as well as the counties of Erie and Delaware, at 6.4% each.

A majority of cities (12 of 18) outside of New York City that impose their own sales tax experienced year-over-year growth in the first quarter. Oswego had the strongest increase at 15.3%, followed by Glens Falls (8.4%) and Saratoga Springs (7.6%). Of the six cities that saw declines, Norwich experienced the steepest drop at 7.3%.

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