New York's tax revenue continues to lag behind last year's final month prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the amount of money the state is bringing in is higher than initial estimates, according to Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. 

It's a potential sign New York's economy is not as badly off as once initially feared and that the state's financial picture may be showing signs of improvement. 

New York's unemployment rate was still above 8% in January, and the February tax collection reported on Monday continued to show signs that economic activity had not fully recovered in the 12 months since the crisis began. Sales tax revenue, too, was lower last month than a year ago. 

All told, New York took in $758.4 million more than initially estimated, DiNapoli said, as personal income tax grew primarily to lower refunds. 

“There is reason to be cautiously optimistic with better-than-forecasted tax revenues from February and the passing of significant additional federal assistance, thanks to President Biden’s American Recovery Plan,” DiNapoli said. “While these resources will be helpful in the state’s ongoing recovery effort, it is important to use them responsibly and think long-term, as challenges remain.”