JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown city Council received some positive financial news on Monday night when the city comptroller presented the final sales tax revenue total for 2020.
City Comptroller Ryan Thompson reported the city received $6.8 million in sales tax for 2020. As a result, despite 2020 being a pandemic year, the city set a record for sales tax revenue in a fiscal year, beating the previous year’s record total by nearly $100,000. Thompson said the total was due to a strong fourth quarter, when the city’s sales tax revenue came in 7% higher than the fourth quarter of 2019.
The final sales tax revenue for 2020 was also nearly 5% higher than what the city had budgeted – meaning the revenue came in at an estimated $320,000 over budget.
City Finance Committee Chair Kim Ecklund said the increase was mainly due to strong online sales and a 2019 change in state law that mandate sales tax collection.
“It’s great news and I think part of the reason why we’re seeing the increase is due to Internet sales now being taxed,” Ecklund said. “I think that’s definitely helping, especially during COVID when that seems to be the way to go for most people, and i think we’re seeing some of the rewards from that.”
In June of 2019, a new requirement that internet marketplace providers collect and remit New York state and local sales taxes on behalf of their out-of-state vendors took effect. Also the state has been slowly rolling out a gradual increase in minimum wage, which some economists have said would help to increase the amount of retail sales across the state, spurring sales tax growth.
Meanwhile, in other city news, Mayor Eddie Sundquist announced the appointment of Dan Stone, current city arborist, to take over as City Parks Director. He is replacing John Williams, who retired from his position last week after 20 years.