Sales-tax revenue grew nearly 5 percent during the first three months of the year across New York, increasing in New York City and its suburbs and dropping in the Southern Tier and Monroe County.
Sales-tax revenue is critical for counties; it’s their largest revenue source.
The results of the first three months of the year was another indicator of how some parts of the state are faring better than others. Half of the 56 counties outside New York City last February had unemployment rates above 10 percent.
“The employment numbers in New York state, especially upstate, are not good,” said Chemung County Executive Thomas Santulli. “And when they are not good, you can be sure sales tax is not good.”
Statewide, sales-tax revenue increased by nearly $297 million between January through March compared to the same period in 2012, according to data from the state Department of Taxation and Finance.
The Southern Tier had a sizable drop off. Sales-tax revenue was down 9 percent in Tioga County, down 7.5 percent in Chemung and down 7.1 percent in Broome.
Sales-tax revenue dropped 2.4 percent in Dutchess County in the first quarter and was down 1.5 percent in neighboring Ulster County. It rose 2.3 percent in Tompkins County.
Monroe County’s sales-tax revenue fell nearly 1.2 percent compared to the same period in 2012, while it was up 2 percent in Erie and Onondaga counties. They are the three largest counties upstate.
The lower Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island had the largest growth in the state. New York City’s sales-tax revenue was up 7.4 percent, or $108 million. It was up 5 percent in Westchester County and 6.7 percent in Rockland County. Putnam County’s sales-tax revenue rose 4 percent.