State tax collections since the start of New York's fiscal year in April have been $1.8 billion more than initially projected by the state Division of Budget, reaching $7.2 billion through the end of September, a report released by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found. 

Tax collections through Sept. 30, meanwhile, are $13.4 billion more than they were during the same time period through last year. 

It's a sign of the state's continued economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic after the public health crisis shuttered businesses and public gathering spots, keeping millions of people at home. But at the same time, the additional revenue is a reflection of higher tax rates included in the state budget. 

Revenue from the state's primary cash cow, the personal income tax, reached $35.8 billion. Revenue from the income tax exceeded estimates in May by $4.8 billion. 

DiNapoli pointed to the need to store some of the money into the state's fund for fiscal emergencies as well as make infrastructure improvements. 

“Strong tax collections halfway through the fiscal year are an encouraging sign of economic recovery,” DiNapoli said. “This provides an excellent opportunity to improve the state’s long-term fiscal standing by using surplus revenues to bolster rainy day fund reserves and fund critical infrastructure projects instead of issuing debt.”