Orleans sales tax grew 5.1% in third quarter or by $300K

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 November 2022 at 10:29 am

ALBION – Orleans County’s sales tax revenues were up 5.1 percent in the third quarter, an increase from $5.5 million in the third quarter of 2021 to $5.8 for the third quarter this year.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office released sales tax data last week, showing many counties are seeing big gains in sales tax.

Orleans decided against reducing its sales tax on rising gas prices, unlike Niagara, Monroe and about 20 others counties. (Some counties will revert back to their full sales tax on gas on Nov. 30, while others set that date for Dec. 31 or Feb. 28.)

Most of the 62 counties in the state didn’t give a sales tax reduction on gas.

The comptroller’s report shows the third quarter sales tax collections for these nearby counties (Monroe and Niagara both approved sales tax discounts on gas):

  • Orleans, up 5.1 percent, from $5.5 million to $5.8 million.
  • Genesee, up 14.1 percent from $13.4 million to $15.3 million
  • Wyoming, up 16.3 percent from $6.2 million to $7.2 million
  • Livingston, up 4.0 percent from $11.2 million to $11.7 million
  • Monroe, down 0.3 percent from $158.8 million to $158.3 million
  • Erie, up 5.8 percent from $250.4 million to $265.0 million
  • Niagara, up 3.4 percent from $40.6 million to $42.0 million

Monroe, which capped its sales tax for gas when the price tops $2 per gallon, saw its sales tax revenue drop this quarter compared to 2021. Niagara capped its sales tax at $3 per gallon. It had modest growth in sales tax revenue at 3.4 percent overall.

New York State suspended its 4-percent sales tax share per $1 from June 1 to Dec. 31. That would be 16 cents for $4 a gallon gas.

Even with that discount, the state’s overall sales tax collections increased 10.2 percent, from $5.164 billion to $5.693 billion.

New York City is driving most of the increase as the city rebounds from Covid-19. New York City experienced a big surge in sales tax revenue in the third quarter, up 16.8 percent from $2.056 billion to $2.401 billion.

For the first nine months of the year, Genesee County leads the Finger Lakes region in sales tax growth at 10.5 percent, going from $37.1 million to $41.0 million.

Orleans is up 2.4 percent, from $16.3 million to $16.7 million for the first nine months. The two other rural GLOW counties are seeing strong growth with Livingston up 5.0 percent, from $31.5 million to $33.1 million, and Wyoming up 8.5 percent, from $17.2 million to $18.7 million.

New York City’s sales tax revenues have jumped 23.1 percent in the first nine months, from $5.72 billion to $7.04 billion.

The state’s sales tax collections in the nine months jumped 14.2 percent, from $14.36 billion to $16.39 billion.

DiNapoli said the increases will help governments with inflationary increases and other rising costs.

“New York City’s sales tax growth in the third quarter, after relatively weaker collections in 2020 and 2021, bolstered overall growth for the state,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “Most local governments are experiencing sales tax revenue growth, even as they struggle with higher costs from inflation just like consumers and businesses. We will continue to monitor how inflation is affecting local governments and the state’s economy.”

Orleans is coming off a record year for sales tax in 2021. The county’s sales tax jumped by $2.4 million or 12.7 percent from $19.4 million in 2020 to $21.8 million last year. Over two years the sales tax revenue went up 23.2 percent from $17.7 million in 2019 to $21.8 in 2021.

The local sales tax is mostly used to fund county government. The county shares $1,366,671 with the 10 towns and four villages. They have been frozen at that level since 2001.