OSWEGO — An uptick in Oswego County sales tax collection shown by the state comptroller’s most recent tax report is a sign of an “improved local economy,” according to local officials.
Released Friday, New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s tax study for the third quarter of the year saw a total in local sales tax collections of $4.8 billion, up 6.3 percent over the amount reported in the third quarter last year. In his report, the comptroller noted the growth reported was stronger than in either of the first two quarters of the year.
Yearly 2019 figures in the state are also higher than those observed in 2018, the report says. From January to September, the state collected $13.5 billion in sales tax, an increase of 4.3 percent over figures registered during that same time period last year.
Oswego County contributed $13.3 million to the state’s overall haul, the report indicates. This year's third quarter figures in the county also mark an increase in 1.6 percent percent in sales tax collections from last year, according to the report. The January to September time frame also showed an uptick in sales tax collections for the county, which hauled in $36.1 million in 2019, compared to last year’s $35.7 million recorded during that same time frame.
Oswego County Treasurer Kevin Gardner, who presents monthly sales tax figures to the county Finance and Personnel Committee, attributed the rising number to an “improved economy.”
“People have more faith in spending their money in Oswego County,” Gardner told The Palladium-Times Friday, noting transportation — in the way of gas and vehicle expenses — are “mainstays” in the local sales tax revenue stream. “People have confidence their job is not going away tomorrow. The economy is strong and all those indicators are still very strong.”
The report also suggests the city of Oswego — which is one of 17 cities in the Empire State that choose to impose their own general sales tax — saw an uptick in sales tax collection during the third quarter.
The Port City registered $4 million during this year’s latest quarterly period, an increase of 6.2 percent over last year’s haul of $3.7 million. As for January to September totals, the city experienced a percentage change of -0.4 percent in comparison to last year’s haul — $10.8 million collected in 2018 down to $10.7 million garnered this year.
Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow noted that despite the slight percentage change, the Port City’s economy has a positive outlook.
“Economically we are in a very favorable position and I think the best days are still yet to be, particularly as our Downtown Revitalization Initiative projects continue to come online,” he said in a recent interview with The Palladium-Times. “Our sales tax numbers — over the long term — are strong, property values are rising, the mean home sale price is way up and we’re seeing unprecedented investment in the community by home and business owners.”
Barlow added the country’s “strong” economy contributes to the blossoming of local economic development.
“We’re seeing regular job openings from our local major employers, providing opportunities for our residents,” he said. “I believe we are on solid footing and positioned well for continued growth in the coming years.”