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DiNapoli: local sales-tax revenue growing slowly

Local sales-tax collections in New York state grew by $177 million, or 2.4 percent, in the first half of 2014, compared to the same period in 2013.

That’s according to a report that New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli issued Wednesday.

DiNapoli’s office described the revenue collections as “growing slowly” in the headline of his news release on the topic.


Sales-tax collections increased more than 4 percent in 19 counties during this period, the report said.

Revenues from sales-tax collections continue increasing across the state, but the growth is the “weakest” since the end of the Great Recession, DiNapoli said in a news release.

“Sales-tax collections in New York City are thriving but several regions are experiencing only modest gains or even declines. Clearly our state’s economy remains in a recovery mode and local government officials will need to be mindful of the volatility of sales-tax revenue as they monitor their budgets during the second half of the year,” DiNapoli said.

DiNapoli’s analysis found that year-over-year growth in sales-tax collections was 1.2 percent in the first quarter of 2014. Growth in the second quarter was 3.5 percent.

The report found Upstate sales-tax collections were “nearly flat” in many regions during the six-month period.

Collection growth of 3.5 percent in the Capital Region and 2.4 percent in the mid-Hudson Valley outpaced the 1.5 percent growth in Central New York, 1.7 percent in Western New York, and 0.9 percent in the Finger Lakes region during the first half of the year, the report said.

Due to a number of tax-rate increases, the 7.6 percent growth in sales-tax revenue in the North Country topped all regions of the state, including New York City, DiNapoli’s report found.

At the county level, the 31 percent growth in St. Lawrence County, 24.4 percent increase in Hamilton County, and 15.6 percent rise in Lewis County represented the most growth in sales-tax collections statewide, according to the report.

The 5.6 percent decline in the sales-tax collections in Broome County was among the “notable declines” statewide.

Collections in New York City primarily drove the gains during the first half of 2014 with growth of 4.8 percent, or $152 million, the report found.

The downstate collections accounted for nearly 90 percent of local sales-tax growth in the state during the first six months of 2014, DiNapoli’s office said.

By comparison, Long Island’s sales-tax collections fell 3.8 percent, or $45 million, during the first two quarters of the year, compared to 2013.

However, most of the decreases are likely the result of spending patterns returning to normal after an increase in collections in 2013 that continued cleanup and rebuilding efforts following Superstorm Sandy fueled, DiNapoli’s office said.

Contact Reinhardt at


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