Report: Economy strong

January sales tax revenues up 12.4 percent compared to last year

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Betsy Pettit, left, pays for some party supplies at Amadou Mamoudou's cashier station at Walmart in Steamboat Springs on Friday.

— Sales tax revenues for the city of Steamboat Springs started off in 2007 a lot better than they ended in 2006. The city reported a double-digit percentage increase in revenues collected during January 2007 compared to January 2006.

The 12.4 percent increase includes a total of $2,035,835 in sales tax receipts, according to a sales tax report prepared by the city. It was only the second time in the past eight years that January revenues had a double-digit increase compared to the previous year - and it's a sign that Steamboat's economy is continuing to grow.

"They were strong numbers and surprising to the extent that last January was pretty strong as well," city Finance Director Don Taylor said. "We've had strong back-to-back Januarys."

In January 2006, sales tax receipts were up 12 percent compared to 2005's numbers. It was the first time January had netted a double-digit increase since 2001. In the following years, January receipts were in the low single digits, bottoming out at 0.2 percent in 2003.

The 12.4 percent January increase was a welcome sight, especially after December's receipts initially were reported as being down compared to December 2005. That broke the streak of more than three years of increasing revenues. But the city has since revised the December number to reflect a 0.4 percent increase from December 2005.

"I wasn't concerned, but I think some people were just looking at the numbers," said Sandy Evans Hall, executive vice president of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association.

The low December increase and the substantial January increase had a lot to do with the timing of the holidays, Hall said. The holiday tourism season spilled over into January, which the Chamber and Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. forecasted.

Hall also said a high level of consumer confidence contributed to strong January numbers and people are willing to spend more on lodging.

"If you are more confident in your financial well-being over time, you're more willing to let go of more of those discretionary dollars," Hall said.

In the city's sales tax report, revenues and increases are broken down by area. The U.S. Highway 40 corridor revenues were up 22.5 percent, and the mountain area revenues were up 16 percent.

Downtown revenues were up 1 percent. That is consistent with recent months, but Hall thinks that will change soon with more people working downtown on the numerous new development projects.

"The construction itself will cause an upsurge in spending downtown," Hall said.

- To reach Matt Stensland, call 871-4210

or e-mail mstensland@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

agentofchange 7 years, 1 month ago

hummn... Downtown up 1%? And those folks downtown are afraid of more boots on the ground (new stores-food vendors) traffic, activity etc.? Downtown is flat, and needs a shot in the arm, and it's coming none too soon.

Do not restrict Business beyond the restrictions and rules already in place. Compete for the Business, it will make Downtown much better. Activity brings business.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 1 month ago

Yes, Agent, but since 2 liquor stores downtown are now closed, I'll bet those revenues starte dropping. Anytime you look at the tax revenue, liquor stores seem to always increase at a higher rate than other business. I saw that Rocky Mountain Liquors is now fenced off and already being torn down this morning (or as of yesterday).

I'm not saying I agree with restricting business, though. I like lower prices!

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 1 month ago

I must correct myself: 3 liquor stores are out of business downtown. I forgot that Go-Fer's had installed a liquor store area. Might lose another gas station now that Jim Cook has purchased the building at 3rd St., too.

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dogd 7 years, 1 month ago

Agent of change-why don't you become agent of move? There are 10000's of towns the way you like them- with few if any non-formula businesses. Pick one and ...

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corduroy 7 years, 1 month ago

Kielbasa: Perhaps we should start calling Steamboat, Cooksville instead! All that guy has done for Steamboat is buy property and develop places that only trust funders, or second home owners can really afford. And as for his mandatory afforable housing units. Who wants a 1 bedroom 1 bath you can't even rent out until you've lived in it for 5 years! If you have a family, you need at least 2 bedrooms. Somebody's head is in the clouds. All that man thinks about is how much money he's going to make.

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