Sales tax up for first time since January

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In August, for the first time since January, city sales tax revenues exceeded last year's figures.

The sales tax in August increased 0.44 percent from August 2002 and brought $1,180,735 to the city.

"It is not exactly cause to run out to the street and start a conga line," City Manager Paul Hughes said at Tuesday's City Council meeting. "It is up 0.44 percent as opposed to being down, which is good news."

Year-to-date sales tax revenue continues to be down from 2002. In August, the $9,559,847 year-to-date total was 2.16 percent less than the year before.

While sales tax for August was up, City Council President Kathy Connell noted that lodging numbers were down by 11 percent during one of the busiest months of the summer.

The city collected just $42,163, which Connell said shows the need for a signature event during the month of August.

"These lodging numbers speak loud and strong," Connell said.

Labor Day fell on Sept. 1 this year and the city helped sponsor the Rockin' Roundup Labor Day Weekend, which included two free summer concerts, a free outdoor movie, and the Professional Bull Riding Classic.

Sales tax was up for miscellaneous retail, sporting goods, utilities and liquor stores. Restaurants and lodging were down.

Councilman Bud Romberg noted that the building use tax, which has brought in $644,729 for the year, was up by 62 percent for the year compared to 2002. Last year was a terrible year, Romberg said.

"It would appear that perhaps we have turned the corner, for at least that portion of the economy, and hopefully the accommodation tax will follow," Romberg said.

Breckenridge, Vail and Glenwood Springs also have seen sales tax decline from last year, while Winter Park and Aspen have seen a slight boost.

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