Recently, the NYS State Tax Department released 4th quarter 2015 sales tax data that show continued retail stagnation in most counties across the state. The fourth quarter data also allows for full year sales tax analysis, which is troubling when compared to 2014.

In the 4th quarter of 2015, 31 counties experienced negative growth in sales tax receipts when compared to the same time period in 2014. New York State also saw their share of sales tax receipts decline by 2.3 percent in the 4th quarter of 2015 compared to 2014.

“This is most troubling because the fourth quarter includes holiday sales, which traditionally boost sales tax revenues across the board,” said New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) President William Cherry, the Schoharie County Treasurer.

For all of 2015 compared to 2014, 30 counties experienced negative growth in sales tax receipts – with the average change per county down .3 percent. New York City, meanwhile, did quite well in both the 4th quarter (+17 percent) of 2015 and for the full year +7.3 percent.

In 2015, 12 counties collected less in sales tax revenue than they did in 2013. For 11 other counties, while not negative, they averaged less than 1% growth per year in sales tax receipts between 2013 and 2015.

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