Yates County sales tax revenues decline

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

Local sales tax collections in New York state grew by $177 million, or 2.4 percent, for the first half of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013, according to a report issued last week by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. Nineteen counties experienced an increase of more than 4 percent during this period, but Yates County’s year-over-year take declined by just under 1 percent.

“While sales tax revenues continue to increase across the state, the growth is the weakest since the end of the Great Recession,” said DiNapoli. “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’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 of the year was slightly stronger at 3.5 percent.

The gains were driven primarily by New York City with collections growing by 4.8 percent, or $152 million. This accounted for nearly 90 percent of local sales tax growth in the state during the first half of 2014.

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 were fueled by continued cleanup and rebuilding efforts following Superstorm Sandy.

Upstate sales tax collections, meanwhile, were nearly flat in many regions. The capital district (3.5 percent) and mid-Hudson Valley (2.4 percent) outpaced Western New York (1.7 percent), Central New York (1.5 percent), and the Finger Lakes (0.9 percent) during the first half of the year.

Due to a number of tax rate increases, growth in sales tax revenue for the North Country (7.6 percent) topped all regions of the state, including New York City.

At the county level, St. Lawrence County (31 percent), Hamilton County (24.4 percent) and Lewis County (15.6 percent) experienced the most growth.

For a copy of the report, visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us and follow the links.

Area Counties

Yates County:

Jan. - June 2013: $4,939,755

Jan. - June 2014: $4,896,771

Year-Over-Year change: (0.9%)

Schuyler County

Jan. - June 2013: $4,249,847

Jan. - June 2014: $4,378,547

Year-Over-Year change: 3 %

Steuben County

Jan. - June 2013: $21,845,840

Jan. - June 2014: $22,370,588

Year-Over-Year change: 2.4%

Ontario County

Jan. - June 2013: $37,511,387

Jan. - June 2014: $37,018,468

Year-Over-Year change: (1.3%)