WPCNR QUILL & EYESHADE. From the NYS Comptroller’s Office. May 14, 2020:
Local sales tax collections dropped 24.4 percent in April compared to April 2019, leaving many of New York’s local governments grappling with shortfalls, according to State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. Sales tax collections totaled $1.02 billion in April.
Plummeting sales tax collections were widespread, leaving counties, cities and some other local governments short by about $327 million compared to last year. White Plains experienced a 20.1% decline in April.
Although the first quarter of 2020 was relatively strong, March sales tax collections had already begun to show the impact of the COVID-19 shutdown–a decrease of 3.7 percent statewide with the largest declines downstate.
The April figures show shrinking revenues for local governments throughout the state.
Every county in every region of the state saw a large drop in April collections. New York City experienced a 23.1 percent decline, amounting to $141.8 million in lost revenues for a single month. Unknown at this time is how collections are impacted by consumers’ growing reliance on e-commerce shopping for products that are now subject to State and local sales taxes.
The least severe, though still substantial decline in sales tax collections occurred in the Mid-Hudson Region (-21.5 percent).
The Capital District had the most severe decline (-28.8 percent).
Outside of New York City, the state’s 57 counties had a decrease in collections of $159.5 million compared to April 2019.
In addition, 17 cities (not including New York City) impose their own general sales tax. April collections were down $5.7 million in April in aggregate compared to April 2019. Nearly every city saw large losses ranging from a decline of 20.1 percent in White Plains to a decrease of over 37 percent in Gloversville. A few cities tax only specific goods or services. Most cities, towns and villages and some school districts also rely on sales tax revenues to support their operations, through sharing agreements with their counties.