Sales tax revenue in June grew by 6.5% over the same time period a year ago, but the increase was a sharp slow down from the last year, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office on Wednesday announced.
Local collections from the sales tax reached a combined $5.5 billion between April and June; a 12.2% increase from the second quarter of 2021.
But June's slower growth was the first time money from the sales tax did not increase by at least 20% since March 2021. Pandemic-related spending has greatly increased sales tax receipts for months in New York, quickly surpassing prior years as the state's economy emerged from the closure of businesses and other public spaces.
It's not clear what the sales tax slowed down in June so significantly. Consumer sentiment dropped in New York amid higher inflation, but the rising consumer prices may also be playing a role in the increased in sales tax receipts. Another factor: The suspension of gasoline sales taxes in many counties as New York suspends 17 cents in gas taxes from June until the end of the year.
“Local sales tax collections continue to show positive results, but the lower growth in June bears watching,” DiNapoli said. “The slowdown reflects, in part, the temporary reduction in local sales taxes on gasoline in 24 counties, along with a possible return to more typical growth rates after the dips and rebounds caused by the COVID pandemic.”
Growth in the sales tax continued to be strong in New York City, which has struggled to regain employment amid the pandemic. Tax collections there rose by 24.9%, more than double the rest of the state.