Local government sales tax collections declined by 7.1 percent in November compared to the same month last year, according to State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. November’s sales tax collections totaled $1.3 billion for local governments statewide, $102 million less than in November 2019.
The decline is steeper than October’s 5.2 percent decline, but not as significant as the double-digit declines in the earlier months (April-June) of the pandemic. Total local government collections in 2020 (January-November) are down $1.7 billion (10.1 percent) compared to the same period in 2019.
“Sales tax collections are a crucial revenue source for our counties and other municipalities,” DiNapoli said. “November’s decline reinforces the need for significant aid from the federal government as COVID-19 infection rates increase and more restrictions curb economic activity. Federal aid will keep first responders on the job and help implement the delivery of the vaccine.”
Regionally, November sales tax collections were down across the board, ranging from a decline of 3.6 percent in the Capital District to a drop of 10.9 percent in the Southern Tier. All but five counties saw declines, ranging from 0.6 percent in Wayne to 26.4 percent in Cayuga. New York City had a 6.5 percent, $43 million, decline compared to November 2019.
December sales tax collections, when reported by the state Tax and Finance Department in mid-January, will include a reconciliation that will reflect final reported sales activity by location. This will give a clearer picture of what the overall quarterly and calendar year impact of the pandemic has been on individual counties and cities.