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Rensselaer County Shows Growth in Sales Tax Revenues in 2020 as State Sees Decline, McLaughlin Notes

Rensselaer County showed a growth in sales tax revenues in 2020, while local sales tax collections across the state declined by 10 percent, according to a new report from the State Comptroller’s Office, County Executive Steve McLaughlin noted.

The report shows the county is continuing a strong performance with sales tax revenues, despite the ongoing pandemic. A number of other counties in the region saw a decline in sales tax revenues during 2020.

Rensselaer County saw strong growth in sales tax in 2019, with the county growing the most in New York based on a report issued by the State Comptroller last week. The county increased by 8.4 percent from 2018 to 2019.

“We are very happy to see Rensselaer County continuing to see solid success with our sales tax revenues. This is good news for taxpayers and residents, along with the local governments who share in these revenues,” said McLaughlin.

“This shows that more and more shoppers are choosing to make purchases in Rensselaer County. To see this trend of growth continuing during a time of turbulence and frequent shutdowns is also significant,” added McLaughlin.

“We are now slightly higher in 2020 than we were in 2019, which was a record-setting year, according to the figures cited in the State Comptroller’s report. That is very good news,” said McLaughlin.

An expanded retail base in areas of the county, including North Greenbush, East Greenbush and Brunswick, has helped generate growth. More shoppers also had fewer options to travel or spend money out of town during the pandemic. The internet sales tax also was a contributing factor, noted McLaughlin.

McLaughlin did sound a note of caution about sales tax revenues during 2021 and beyond.

“I am very concerned New York State is going to resort to fee increases and new taxes and that will hurt consumer confidence and spending. Bad decisions on the state level will result in reduce revenues and lost economic activity,” said McLaughlin.

“The State Comptroller’s report shows a statewide drop of 10 percent of sales tax revenues across the state. Tax increases and fee hikes will only compound that problem,” added McLaughlin.