Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Steamboat Springs The town of Hayden on Tuesday announced that it collected 16 percent more sales tax revenues in August than it did during the same period last year.
The posting of $66,726 represents the third month this year in which the town has experienced a double-digit increase in sales tax revenue from the corresponding month in 2010. August’s collections represent the highest total for that month since 2008.
August is the most recent month for which sales tax revenues are available.
Finance Director Lisa Dowling said the increase likely is the result of increased summer traffic at Yampa Valley Regional Airport. Dowling said Hayden receives approximately 46 percent of its sales tax revenue from airport-related activities each year that include rental car, fuel, restaurant and retail sales.
“It offers a glimmer of hope that our economy here may be moving forward,” Dowling said.
She said sales tax revenues from local businesses in Hayden are mostly consistent each year, and if the revenue hits a peak or a valley, it typically can be traced to activity at the airport.
YVRA Manager Dave Ruppel said the airport’s terminal expansion project, which has crews eating and shopping in town, as well as the summer operation of four daily flights instead of three a year ago, likely contributed to the revenue increase.
Downtown Hayden business owners saw varied levels of financial success in August and other summer months compared to last year.
Wolf Mountain Pizza owner Charlie Epp, who took control of the pizza joint on Jefferson Avenue in June, said his summer sales exceeded expectations and were better than last year’s.
He said he attributes the sales increase to an expanded menu and a remodel of the restaurant’s interior.
However, Ann Marie Roberts, who owns the nearby Double Barrel Steakhouse, said her sales figures in August were down slightly from the same time last year.
“Business goes up and down like a roller coaster,” she said.
Dowling said Hayden is projected to collect 6 percent more in sales tax revenues in 2011 than it did last year. And as the town begins budget discussions this week, she is projecting that the sales tax revenues will remain flat in 2012.
“We don’t have any concrete reason to believe our revenues will be below or above what we project to receive this year,” she said.
The town so far has collected $685,684 in sales tax revenues and is just more than $60,000 ahead of the $763,000 they budgeted to receive in 2011. If the projection holds, it still will be significantly lower than the $1.1 million in sales tax revenues the town collected in 2008.
— To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com
Hayden’s year-to-date sales tax collections