In a review of the state’s economy, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office states that sales tax collections in April were more than forty-five percent higher than the same period last year.
Sales tax collections in 2021 totaled $1.5 billion. In Western New York, Erie County saw a nearly 50 percent increase this April over the previous year. The largest increases were seen in Niagara and Allegany Counties at 63 percent. The lowest growth was in Cattaraugus County at nearly 43 percent.
DiNapoli attributes the incredible growth to the re-opening of many businesses.
Local government sales tax collections statewide were down 5.9 percent in January compared to the same time last year, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today. Collections totaled $1.5 billion, down $95 million from January 2020.
The decline was less than the 8.4 percent drop in December and the double-digit declines in the earlier months of the pandemic (April-June).
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to weigh heavily on New York’s local governments, even as vaccines are being distributed and infection rates are declining from all-time highs,” DiNapoli said. “Congress must pass a COVID relief bill that helps our local governments during this crisis. Majority Leader Schumer and the entire New York congressional delegation know how much our local communities are suffering and are working diligently to get them aid.”
Author(s): Thomas DiNapoli
Publication Date: 17 February 2021
Publication Site: Office of the New York State Comptroller
The 2018 Supreme Court decision, in South Dakota v. Wayfair, overturned prior decisions that had made it impossible for states to collect sales taxes from remote sellers. They certainly tried in different ways, but were shot down by various courts. It was the long-sought Wayfair decision, as it’s known, that opened the door for states to collect taxes on most online sales.
“Prior to the Wayfair decision, although some ecommerce sellers were going down the path of starting to collect sales tax on their sales, online sales was still a potential avenue to avoid the sales tax,” says Chuck Maniace, vice president of regulatory analysis at Sovos, a tax compliance firm.
Wayfair allows states to demand that businesses without a physical presence collect and remit taxes, assuming they make at least $100,000 worth of in-state sales. Following the decision, large states such as California and Texas have set the threshold higher, at $500,000. States differ in terms of how many in-state transactions can take place before a seller has to collect taxes (generally, about 200).