Sales tax revenues continue to increase

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— This year's sales tax revenues continue to outpace revenues collected in 2005.

In February, the month from which the latest sales tax numbers are available, revenues totaled more than $1.7 million, a 6.3 percent increase from February 2005. January and February's revenues combine to equal about $3.4 million, which is 9 percent more than revenues from January and February 2005.

The sales tax numbers are listed in a city of Steamboat Springs report released monthly. The report does not subtract inflation, which is at a rate of about 2.5 percent or 3 percent, said Don Taylor, the city's director of financial services.

Of the categories by which sales tax revenues are listed, utilities increased the most (28.8 percent) over February 2005. Utilities, including electric and gas, are taxed, Taylor said. The sales tax revenue increase is the result of higher utility bills, he said.

The location that experienced the largest revenue increase -- 26.5 percent -- was the report's "regional" category. The regional category is for businesses, including utility providers, that are not part of the city's other location categories, which include downtown and the mountain area.

Liquor stores brought in more than $52,000 in sales tax revenues in February, a 13.5 percent increase from February 2005.

It has been a "very, very solid year" for Central Park Liquor of Steamboat, general manager and owner Greg Nealy said Friday.

"We were up dramatically," he said. "It's been an incredible winter."

Nealy credits the store's success to the heavy snowfall this winter, which brought skiers to town -- and to local liquor stores.

"When you have that kind of situation, you tend to have a terrific year," Nealy said.

The city's report also lists information about other taxes, including the building use tax, which essentially is prepaid estimated sales tax that is collected at the time of building permit issuance. The tax increased 166 percent from February 2005 to February 2006, and year-to-date, it increased 72.5 percent. The numbers reflect an increase in building activity, Taylor has said.

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