Tri-county sales tax collections drop in April compared to year ago

May 18—WATERTOWN — Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties saw double-digit percent drops in local sales tax collections in April compared to the same month a year ago, while Lewis County's receipts declined by 9%.

St. Lawrence County experienced the second-largest year-over-year percent drop of any county in the state — 19.6% — with only Livingston County seeing a steeper decline at 20.6%, according to data released Thursday by the state comptroller's office.

For St. Lawrence County, that translates to $1.39 million less in revenue in April than it took in during April 2022. In 2022, the county saw collections of $7.11 million in April, while this past April collections totaled $5.72 million.

Jefferson County experienced a 10.4% decline, with receipts going from $8.78 million in April 2022 to $7.87 million in April 2023, a $910,000 difference.

Lewis County's year-over-year collections dropped $120,000, or 8.9%, going from $1.42 million last year to $1.30 million in April 2013.

The city of Ogdensburg saw an $80,000 decline, going from $200,000 in April 2022 to $120,000 this year, representing a 37.7% decline.

For the first four months of 2023, collections were about parallel to where they were in 2022, with collections in Lewis and St. Lawrence counties each rising by 1.5%, while Jefferson County's went down 0.6%

Jefferson County saw $31.11 million in sales tax collection in January through April 2022, receiving $30.93 million during the same period this year, a $180,000 drop. St. Lawrence County has picked up $380,000 in sales tax so far this year over last, from $24.54 million in 2022 to $24.92 million this year. Lewis County's receipts went from $5.39 million last year to $5.47 million in 2023, an $80,000 increase.

Oswego County's year-over-year receipts in April dropped 6.4%, from $5.14 million in 2022 to $4.81 million, a difference of $330,000. For the year, receipts are up 1.9%, or $360,000, from $19 million during the first four months of 2022 to $19.36 million this year.

The city of Oswego's collections were down 0.9% in April compared to April 2022, from $1.47 million a year ago to $1.45 million this year, a $20,000 difference. For the year, the city is 5.2%, or $300,000, ahead of last year's collection, from $5.85 million in $6.15 million to date this year.

Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said in a statement that local sales tax collections statewide increased by 1.5% in April over a year ago, with collections totaling $1.74 billion, a $25.8 million increase from last year.

"Year-over-year sales tax growth has slowed from its recent inflation-fueled rise, and from the spikes seen during the pandemic recovery," Mr. DiNapoli said. "April collections were likely affected by a number of factors, including lower gas prices and moderating inflation. Sales tax collections typically fluctuate month to month, and slower overall growth will mean more local governments may see declines."