February sales tax figures skewed by extra leap year day

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— The city of Steamboat Springs released its final February sales tax receipts this week, but the year-over-year increase of 2.46 percent can be misleading given the leap year.

February 2012 sales tax revenues for the city were $1.76 million, or $60,671 a day for 29 days. Last year, the monthly total was $1.72 million, or $61,327 a day for the 28 days in February 2011. On a per-day basis, this February saw a 1 percent decrease compared with last year.

Following similar logic, the city’s year-to-date sales tax numbers are barely behind 2011 figures through the first two months of the year. However, on a strictly numbers basis, revenues are up 0.85 percent this year compared with last.

The relevance of the different calculations depends on what one hopes to glean from the numbers. For city budgeting and spending purposes, the bottom-line revenues are perhaps most important. But for insight into the state of the local economy, the apples-to-apples comparison that takes into account the leap year might be most appropriate.

Building-use taxes continue to lag significantly behind 2011, with the city collecting just $8,124 in February. Last February, the city collected $41,607.

Accommodations tax revenues also are off, though not as noticeably as the building-use tax. City lodging properties collected $94,889 from the 1 percent lodging tax this February compared with $99,016 in February 2011.

The city’s new 0.25 percent sales tax for air service at Yampa Valley Regional Airport brought in $92,468 in February. Year-to-date collections are $177,505.

Other resort communities

Some Colorado mountain resort communities experienced better sales tax growth than Steamboat in February while several others lagged behind.

Snowmass led the way among a group of eight resort communities highlighted in a report released by the city of Steamboat this week. Snowmass saw sales tax receipts increase 17.5 percent in February 2012 compared with February 2011.

Glenwood Springs revenues increased 7.3 percent, and Breckenridge revenues increased 7.2 percent. Aspen jumped 6.65 percent compared with last year. Vail revenues increased 2.1 percent.

Winter Park sales tax revenues dipped 1.5 percent from a year ago, and Crested Butte fell 1.7 percent.

None of the percentages account for the additional day in February 2012.

February 2012 sales tax revenue

To reach Brent Boyer, call 970-871-4221 or email bboyer@SteamboatToday.com

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