New York cities, counties post weak growth in sales tax revenue

Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:13pm EST

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Feb 14 (Reuters) - Sales tax collections by New York cities and counties grew in 2012 by just 3.3 percent, or $450 million, adding pressure to strained local budgets, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said on Thursday.

The sluggish growth in local sales tax collections last year compares to growth of 5.0 percent in 2011, 9.9 percent in 2010 and a 15-year average annual growth rate of 4.4 percent, he said in a report.

The report excluded New York City, which had sales tax revenue growth of 3.5 percent in 2012, down from 6.1 percent growth in 2011.

In New York's southwestern section, along the border with Pennsylvania, comparisons were hurt by a boost in sales tax collections in the third quarter of 2011 related to Tropical Storm Lee.

On Long Island, which encompasses the suburbs east of New York City, sales tax collections were depressed by Superstorm Sandy in the fourth quarter of 2012, growing by only 1.1 percent, DiNapoli's report said.

Long Island is expected to see a boost in the early part of 2013 as the region recovers from the deadly storm, which hit in late October, the report said.

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