Dutchess sales tax growth sign of better economy, says comptroller

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POUGHKEEPSIE – Back in 2020, Dutchess County took an $11 million sales tax hit as a result of the economic shutdown due to COVID-19.

Things have steadily gotten better since then, said County Comptroller Robin Lois, who on Thursday issued a special report on sales tax revenue for the county. 

Sales tax is the largest source of revenue for Dutchess, accounting for nearly 41 percent of total budgeted revenue for 2021. 

Sales tax receipts began to increase in the last quarter of 2020, holding the total loss for 2020 to the $11 million reported by Lois in September of 2020

That represents a 5.2 percent deficit compared to the 2020 adopted budget amount, and a 4.1 percent decrease from 2019 actual sales tax revenue.

But, the economy is looking brighter in the first quarter of this year, said Lois.

“We are already up $10 million from the prior two years, so it is a pretty good rebound, and what we have seen so far, everything indicates it will continue short of a second shutdown, which I don’t anticipate is going to happen,” she said.

Lois attributes the sales tax increase to more people shopping locally as confidence builds with the increased vaccination rate.