Sales tax collections for April through June were higher than last year during the same period for Rockland, Westchester and Putnam counties, according to data released this week by the state Department of Taxation and Finance.
The most significant jump was in Rockland County, where sales tax collections were 12 percent higher than last year — $47 million, compared to $41.96 million. The cumulative total for the first two quarters of the year was $91.8 million, 9.3 percent higher than in the first half of 2012.
In Westchester County, second-quarter collections were 6.6 percent more than April through June 2012 — $121.1 million, compared to $113.6 million. The cumulative total for the first two quarters was $243.5 million, 5.8 percent more than January through June 2012.
Putnam County’s sales tax collections were $13.2 million for the second quarter, 3.2 percent higher than the $12.8 million in 2012. The cumulative total for the first two quarters was $25.9 million, 3.6 percent higher than the first six months of 2012.
The total amount of sales taxes certified for the state was $6.7 billion for the three-month period — $2.98 billion of that was the state’s share (6.1 percent more than last year during the same time) and $3.7 billion went to local governments (5.9 percent more than in 2012). The cumulative total for the two quarters was $13.2 billion, 5.4 percent higher than last year. Of that, $5.8 billion was the state’s share and $7.3 billion went to local governments.
The New State Association of Counties said that while the second-quarter numbers are up about 4.5 percent in total dollars in all counties outside New York City combined, 80 percent is coming from the four counties most impacted by Hurricane Sandy last fall — Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester — and are driven largely by spending on recovery and rebuilding.
On average, the percentage of growth per county in the second quarter was 1.6 percent when compared with the same period last year, the group said.Twenty upstate counties saw negative sales tax growth in the second quarter over last year.
“While we could see slight adjustments in these numbers during the next quarter, overall sales tax growth is still very sluggish and demonstrates that we still have a long way to go before we see true economic recovery,” Stephen Acquario, the group’s executive director, said in a statement.
Lower Hudson Valley cities that charge sales taxes all had higher collections for the first six months of 2013 than for the same period last year. White Plains had the weakest growth. These are the cities, followed by totals and the percentage difference from the first six months of 2012:
— Mount Vernon, $9.4 million, 7.4 percent higher
— New Rochelle, $12.98 million, 1.38 percent higher
— White Plains, $25.2 million, 0.23 percent higher
— Yonkers, $21.2 million, 6.7 percent higher.