Rensselaer County Leads the Way in NYS in Sales Tax Growth in 2019, Based on State Comptroller’s Report, County Executive Steve McLaughlin Announces
“Outstanding News for Rensselaer County,” says McLaughlin
Rensselaer County saw strong growth in sales tax in 2019, with the county growing the most in upstate New York based on a report issued this week by the State Comptroller, County Executive Steve McLaughlin announced.
And based on a dollar for dollar comparison, the county may have had the largest percentage growth in sales tax revenues from 2018 to 2019. Westchester County saw growth of 12.6 percent, but the Comptroller’s report noted the county recently increased the county sales tax share by one percent.
“The report by Comptroller DiNapoli is outstanding news. This is further proof that more and more are looking to Rensselaer County as a place to live, work, shop, eat and visit,” said McLaughlin.
The county increased by 8.4 percent from 2018 to 2019. Across the state, outside of New York City, the average rate of growth was 4.4 percent, with growth in 54 out of 57 non-metro area counties.
“We welcome the growth and the investment in our county. This is good news for our municipalities, who share in this growth and use these resources to balance budgets and maintain services on the local level,” added McLaughlin.
The report from the Comptroller shows other counties in the Capital District at growth rates as follows: Albany, 3.7 percent; Schenectady, 3.6 percent; and Saratoga, 3.5 percent.
McLaughlin and other county officials credit a healthy national economy, expanded retail opportunities in the county, additional restaurants, and on-line shopping that allows more residents to make purchases in the county from their home or work.
“This is very welcome news for all of us in the county, our local governments and our taxpayers. We are glad to see more and more choosing our county as a place to make their purchases and benefit the county in the process,” said Chair of the Legislature Mike Stammel.
“Rensselaer County is in very solid shape financially, and the report from the Comptroller is further proof the county is being managed effectively and with an eye toward positive results for all residents,” said Vice Chair of the Legislature for Finance Robert Loveridge.
The outstanding sales tax news follows other positive financial news for the county. McLaughlin’s two budgets as County Executive have each lowered the county tax rate and received unanimous support from county lawmakers. The county has earned upgrades to its bond rating, bringing the rating to elite status and the highest in county history.
The county has also expanded services, with over 35 miles of road expected to be paved next year, the most in two decades. Last week, the county announced $1.5 million in personnel savings, following other savings across county government during the past two years.
The county is also seeing historic job growth with the Amazon project in Schodack, continued expansion by Regeneron and other developments, noted county leaders.
However, county leaders said they are concerned about state fiscal issues hurting a continued strong performance in the county. The state is now trying to deal with a $6 billion deficit for Medicaid, among other issues.
“The strong performance in 2018 and 2019 show we have real reason for optimism in Rensselaer County during the year ahead. However, we are looking with caution to the state as they grapple with a huge Medicaid deficit,” said McLaughlin.