Sales tax collections in New York grew by 57.8% in May over the same month a year ago in yet another sign the state's economy is rebounding, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on Wednesday announced.
Revenue reached $140 billion from the sales tax in May, an increase of $530 million from last year when the COVID-19 pandemic largely closed most businesses in New York.
“For the second straight month, local sales tax collections had a tremendous boost. Strong collections in May show the economy continues to improve as spending rebounds from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the standstill it created in New York state in March 2020,” DiNapoli said. “Combined with direct federal assistance and restored state aid, the recovery of sales taxes will help New York’s local governments rebound from the effects of last year’s revenue shortfalls.”
Sales tax is a key barometer for local governments, helping them keep other taxes low and as a sign of general consumer economy health.
The news comes as New York on Tuesday moved to rescind most of its remaining COVID-related restrictions on businesses, including social distancing guidelines and cleaning requirements as 70% of adults have received at least one COVID vaccine shot.
In New York City, the engine of the state's economy, sales tax receipts reached $636 million, an increase of 51.4%. Every county outside of New York City, meanwhile, also saw year-over-year collection increases in the double digits. Allegany County reached the highest swing of 88.2%, DiNapoli said.