City sales tax revenue down in July

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City sales tax revenue continues to decline with July seeing a 3.09 percent decrease from the year before.

That decrease contributed to an overall 2.68 percent drop in sales tax revenue for the year, which amounts to about a $230,130 difference. For 2003, the city has collected $8,364,401 in sales tax.

In Steamboat, July typically is the largest revenue-producing month in the summer. In July 2002, sales tax revenues jumped by 2.65 percent from the year before, and the amount of revenue collected in July is still higher than what July of 2001 saw.

Vice President of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association Sandy Evans-Hall predicted a possible drop in sales tax revenue this summer because of fewer Triple Crown teams in town.

In June, Steamboat had an increase in Triple Crown teams from the year before, but July saw a sharp decrease. Evans-Hall said a drop in the numbers of teams that came resulted in about 10,000 fewer people in town this summer.

Those 10,000 people could have spent an estimated $3.33 million in Steamboat by the time they left.

The amount of tourists in town over the first weekends of July stayed about the same as 2002 as Steamboat had a good turnout for the July Fourth weekend, Balloon Rodeo weekend and the Mountain Classic Soccer Tournament, Evans-Hall said.

A dramatic drop was seen toward the end of the month, Evans-Hall said, as Triple Crown teams declined. One of the major contributors to the decline of Triple Crown teams was moving the girls fast-pitch tournament, which brought 143 teams to town, to Park City, Utah.

Sales tax coming from lodging, restaurants and liquor stores all decreased, while sales tax from miscellaneous retail, sporting good stores and utilities increased.

The accommodation tax decreased by 15 percent from the previous July, bringing in just $45,000.

Of the six comparable mountain communities, Steamboat Springs is the only city to have a drop in sales tax numbers for every month since January.

Winter Park has seen a 2.61 percent increase in sales tax for the year, and Aspen's sales tax has increased by 0.22 percent.

Sales tax numbers have dropped by 0.35 percent in Glenwood Springs for the year. Breckenridge and Vail have seen a larger decrease in their sales tax revenue than Steamboat with drops of 4 percent and 5.28 percent, respectively.

The city did see a boost in its revenue from the building use tax, which jumped by 267 percent in July. In 2002, just $40,000 was collected in the building use tax, and $149,000 was collected this July. The city has seen a year-to-date increase of 63.97 percent and collected a total of $490,562.


-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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