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Conn. hits sales tax record in 1st full year of pandemic

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut broke its previous record for sales tax collections during the first full fiscal year of the pandemic, helped by federal COVID-19 aid and a rebounding economy.

The Stamford Advocate reported nearly $5.3 billion was collected for the 12 months through the end of June, which represented a $633 million increase over the previous year. That's enough to cover a year of operating expenses for the state’s public universities and community colleges, the newspaper reported.

Sales tax gains in previous years had ranged between $20 million and $200 million. The recent increase is attributed to individuals and businesses spending federal pandemic relief funds as travel and entertainment restrictions have gradually eased. A real estate boom in the region also has contributed.

Connecticut collects 6.35% on most purchases, with some exceptions for items such as food and luxury vehicles. Income taxes, the biggest source of revenue for the state, generated $10.3 billion in the fiscal year ending in June. That represented a 9% increase but still fell $500 million below the amount collected in the 2018 fiscal year, The Advocate reported.

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