New York State collection of local sales taxes rose 3.3% in the first half of the year, according to a report released on Friday by state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
Through June, local sales tax collections totaled $8 billion, compared with $7.8 billion in the first six months of 2016.
“Local sales tax growth across the state is welcome news, especially for many of our upstate communities that have struggled with tough economic conditions,” DiNapoli said. “Sales tax, however, can be a volatile source of revenue and local officials must remain cautious. While consumer spending is holding up for now, the upcoming back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons may determine if this level of growth is sustainable.”
New York City’s sales tax collections increased 3.5%, or $121 million, in the first half of 2017. This increase accounts for almost half of the total growth statewide of $256 million in local collections during the period.
Of the 17 other cities in New York that impose their own sales taxes, 14 saw increases in collections and three had declines. The three cities which experienced the biggest gains were Salamanca (14.7%), Rome (8.8%) and Oswego (6.4%). The three cities that saw declines were Norwich (7.3%), Saratoga Springs (5.9%) and White Plains (3.8%).
Economic factors supporting the increase in collections across the state included continued low unemployment and high consumer confidence, the report said, adding that they were also boosted by growth in sales tax collections on motor fuels.