Tri-county region sees $7M jump in sales tax collections

Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 5:03 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ALBANY, New York (WWNY) - Consumers in the north country are spending. Between January and June of 2023, sales tax collections in the tri-county area were up $7.1 million over the same time period last year.

That means more revenue for county governments.

Between January and March, Lewis County saw a 5.2 percent jump over last year. From April to June, it saw a 2.9 percent increase over 2022. That’s an increase of about $680,000 during the first half of the year.

As for Jefferson County, in the first quarter, it saw a 3.2 percent increase in collection, and in the second quarter, a 3.5 percent jump. That translates to an increase of nearly $3 million during the first half of the year.

The largest increases came in St. Lawrence County. In Q1, it saw sales tax collections jump 10.1 percent, and in Q2, the increase was 5.3 percent. That’s a increase of $3.5 million between January and June.

So what’s the reason behind the jump?

St. Lawrence County District 1 Legislator Jim Reagen has some ideas.

“We’re seeing a $35 million increase in construction and a $20 million increase in data processing which I think is due to the crypto mining over in Massena,” he said.

Another reason is the price of gas. A higher price at the pump means more tax on that purchase, and a percentage goes to county governments. Gas right now is over $4 a gallon in areas like Ogdensburg, Canton and Potsdam.

Counties share sales tax collections with other governments, where it can help with town and village budgets.

“It’s a major component of the town and village budgets and if that were to disappear, well, our options to meet budget would be to cut services drastically or increase real estate tax,” said Waddington Mayor Michael Zagrobelny.

In comparison, the state on average saw a 7 percent increase in the first quarter and a 3 percent in the second quarter compared to the same times last year.

The figures come from the state comptroller.