WATERTOWN — Sales tax revenue across the tri-county area for the first five months of 2021 continues to significantly outpace those realized during the same period last year, which was marked by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to information provided by state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s office, Jefferson County has experienced the largest percentage increase in revenue over the first five months of 2021 when compared with the other five counties categorized by the state as the North Country Region.
Jefferson County realized $33.9 million in revenue in the months of January through May this year, compared to $26.4 million over the same period in 2020, representing a 28.2%, or $7.5 million, increase. Lewis County saw a 27.5%, or $1.1 million, increase, going from $4.4 million in 2020 to $5.5 million this year, while St. Lawrence County’s revenue grew by 25.3%, from $21.3 million last year to $26.7 million, a $5.4 million increase.
The trend continued into May, with Jefferson County realizing $2.9 million more in revenue in 2021 than in 2020, going from $3.9 million last year to $6.8 million this May. St. Lawrence County saw a similar percent increase — 72.9% — realizing $5.4 million in revenue this year compared to $3.1 million in May 2020, a $2.3 million increase. Lewis County realized one of the largest percent increases of any county in the state in May 2021 — 81.3% — garnering revenue of $1.1 million versus the $600,000 received in 2020, an increase of $500,000.
“Strong collections in May show the economy continues to improve as spending rebounds from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the standstill it created in New York state in March 2020,” Mr. DiNapoli said in a statement. “Combined with direct federal assistance and restored state aid, the recovery of sales taxes will help New York’s local governments rebound from the effects of last year’s revenue shortfalls.”
Oswego County also fared well in revenue for May 2021, taking in $4.3 million compared to the $2.5 million it saw in May 2020, a $1.8 million, or 75.4% increase. But for the year, the county’s revenue is up 8.8%, among the lowest percent increases in the state. In May 2021, the county took in $18.3 million in revenue, a $1.5 million increase over the $16.8 million received in January through May 2020.