Putnam falls $2.7 million through August
Dutchess County through August has lost $11 million in sales tax, or 8.5 percent of its revenue in the same period last year, because of the COVID-19 shutdown, according to the most recent calculations by the New York State Association of Counties.
In the same period, Putnam has seen a decrease of $2.7 million, or 6.4 percent.
Of the state’s 57 counties outside New York City, Dutchess ranked 12th in lost revenue and Putnam was 23rd. Nine counties had increases of 0.4 to 2 percent, and Westchester saw a 14 percent jump but raised its sales-tax rate a year ago from 3 percent to 4 percent.
Because most businesses in the state can operate at some capacity, Dutchess County Comptroller Robin Lois said in a statement that she was “hopeful that, short of a second shut down, the worst of the sales tax hits are behind us.”
Sales taxes account for 41 percent of Dutchess County’s revenue, she said. Before the pandemic, it had budgeted for a 4 percent increase.
Statewide, sales-tax revenue dropped by $1.14 billion, or 10.7 percent. In the Hudson Valley, Orange County saw the largest decrease, at 11.5 percent, while New York City had a 14.8 percent drop.
Dutchess shares the sales tax it collects with town and cities, which divide $25 million annually but also depend on “growth payments” that totaled $7.8 million in 2019, Lois said. “It remains to be seen how significantly these payments to our partners in government will be impacted by the economic downturn,” she said.