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LI retail sales tax collections fell in December

The New York State Department of Taxation and

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance announced that sales tax collections, a barometer of consumer spending, fell 1.9 percent in the Long Island region this past month compared with December 2011. (Dec. 12, 2012) (Credit: AP)

Retail sales on Long Island appear to have declined in December -- during the crucial holiday shopping season -- compared with a year earlier, according to a report released Monday.

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance announced that sales tax collections, a barometer of consumer spending, fell 1.9 percent in the region this past month compared with December 2011.

In Nassau, sales tax revenue was down 2.6 percent, while in Suffolk, it was off by 1.2 percent.

Economists and retailers blamed the year-over-year drop in sales tax collections on superstorm Sandy and consumers being distracted by the Connecticut school shooting and “fiscal cliff” negotiations in Washington.

The Island’s county governments are dependent on sales tax to help fund services. For the year, collections increased 3.8 percent in Nassau over 2011,  and were up 3 percent in Suffolk.

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