February shows sales tax gain in Steamboat Springs

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City of Steamboat Springs sales tax collections for the month of February were up 2 percent over February 2011, according to preliminary figures released Monday.

The city collected $1.75 million in sales taxes in February, bringing year-to-date collections to $3.5 million. January’s collections were 1.8 percent below sales tax revenues from the same month in 2011. February’s turnaround puts the city 0.65 percent ahead of 2011 numbers through the first two months of the year.

February’s biggest gain came in the largest collection category: miscellaneous retail. Collections there increased to $645,546 in February, compared to $601,505 in 2011. Restaurants, liquor stores and sporting goods also saw modest gains, while collections in the utilities and lodging/amenities categories slipped as compared to February 2011.

When the sales tax revenues are analyzed by geographic area, all areas of the city saw percentage gains over February 2011 with the exception of the mountain area, which fell less than a percentage point.

In a sign of the continuing struggles for the local construction industry, building use tax collections were just $8,124 in February, down from $41,607 in February 2011. That’s an 80.5 percent decrease. Year to date, building use tax collections are only $2,197 through the first two months of 2012, as compared to $53,308 through the first two months of 2011. The city refunded $5,927 to builders in January.

Also in February, revenues from the city’s 1 percent accommodations tax decreased 4.2 percent year over year. The city tax collected $94,889 in February 2012 compared to $99,016 in February 2011. Year to date, accommodations tax revenues are 1 percent below 2011 numbers.

The city’s new 0.25 percent sales tax to help fund commercial air service at Yampa Valley Regional Airport collected $91,831 in February. Year to date, the tax has brought in $176,334. During the election campaign to approve the tax question, supporters had estimated it would generate about $1.3 million per year. The tax sunsets in five years.

Monday’s figures released by the city are preliminary. A final report will be issued by mid-April.

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