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The Upstate Economy

First half statewide sales tax revenue increases overall, but some counties falter

Overall, sales tax revenue in New York increased for the first half of this year, but revenues were mixed across the state.

Across the board, New York saw sales tax revenue grow $177 million over the first half of this year, according to numbers tallied by the state comptroller's office. That's a 2.5 percent jump, but it's been an uneven increase, with some counties seeing big gains, while others decreased.

New York City accounted for nearly 90 percent of the state's growth. Sales tax in St. Lawrence County, in the North Country, rose 31 percent, mostly thanks to a rate increase. But several saw losses, including Oswego, Oneida and Jefferson Counties.

Increases in sales tax revenue means people are spending more, and that's a sign of economic vitality. In the Syracuse area, sales tax collection grew by just 1.5 percent. The metropolitan area has struggled to add jobs in recent months.

The comptroller says the growth in sales tax revenues so far this year is the slowest it's been since the end of the Great Recession.