Photo by John F. Russell
Downtown properties are expected to be 89 percent full this Saturday as Steamboat kicks off the summer season. The numbers are good news after a sluggish April saw lodging tax revenues across Steamboat Springs fall.
Steamboat Springs After a bullish March, sales tax revenues in the city of Steamboat Springs dipped almost 4 percent in April despite a slight increase in receipts from the miscellaneous retail businesses that make up the single largest category of revenue producers for the city.
Total collections for the month ending April 30 were $894,379, which is down $37,062 from April 2010’s collections of $931,441, according to a preliminary report released Wednesday by the city. The numbers are likely to adjust slightly up or down when a final report is issued later this month.
April’s showing leaves year-to-date sales tax collections running 2 percent ahead of 2010 at $6.5 million.
City manager of budget and taxes Kim Weber said the two-point margin combined with the fact that City Council budgeted based on the expectation that sales tax receipts would be down 10 percent for the entire year put the city’s financial cushion at 12 percent at the end of April. As it closes in on the end of the second quarter, City Council is tentatively scheduled in July to look at financial needs that have come up since the budget was approved in December 2010 and consider supplemental appropriations from revenues over budget, Weber said.
The city collects 4.5 percent of the overall 8.4 sales tax collected here, excluding lodging tax.
Lodging tax numbers were up 22.7 percent in March compared to the same month in 2010 but dropped by 23.6 percent in April. Steamboat’s 1 percent lodging tax represents a small amount of overall sales tax revenues, but it also served to reflect the positive overall March numbers for other tax-producing sectors such as restaurants (up 6 percent) and sporting goods (up 13.6 percent). March’s overall sales tax revenues were up 9.53 percent compared to March 2010. They helped overall March sales tax climb by 9.53 percent.
Even as the good news about March took shape in the middle of the month, resort leaders expressed concern that the lateness of Easter on April 24 would fragment the last two weeks of ski season after packing the calendar in March.
“Last-minute reservations have kept us busy and we are seeing good pickups even in the last week of March,” Steamboat Resorts principal Bob Milne told the Steamboat Today on March 16. “April bookings have not really materialized yet.”
It appears those concerns came to fruition.
Key April sales tax figures include:
- Miscellaneous retail up 0.63 percent to $461,258.
- Sporting goods down 12.8 percent
- Utilities down 2.5 percent to $47,470.
- Restaurants down 6.3 percent to $128,256.
- Liquor stores, which typically are recession proof, down 0.57 percent to $37,456.
- Building use tax was $52,166, a 55.3 percent decrease from the $116,708 collected in April 2010
- Year-to-date building use tax revenues are down 53 percent