City of Steamboat Springs sales tax revenues fall again

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— City of Steamboat Springs sales tax revenues fell nearly 6 percent in March, bringing year-to-date collections down 1.4 percent compared with the first quarter of 2011.

According to a preliminary revenue report released Tuesday, March collections were down 5.6 percent compared with March 2011. The city brought in $2.03 million this March and $2.15 million last March.

Sales tax revenues were down in all categories except for miscellaneous retail (0.3 percent growth) and utilities (1.6 percent growth). The biggest decrease on a percentage and dollar basis came in the lodging and amenities category, which dropped 13.2 percent to $536,778 this year from $618,042 in March 2011. Sporting goods sales tax revenues fell 8.3 percent in March, restaurant sales tax revenues declined 7.4 percent and liquor store collections dropped 1.5 percent.

When analyzed by geographic area, the base area experienced the biggest drop at 12.9 percent. Sales tax revenues generated by downtown Steamboat businesses fell 3.1 percent. West Steamboat saw 1.4 percent growth.

A bright spot in the preliminary revenue report was a increase in building-use tax revenues. Use taxes collected in March totaled $23,676, compared with $7,188 in March 2011. Year-to-date building-use tax collections remain down 35 percent.

Accommodations tax revenues decreased 12.7 percent in March and are 6 percent down for the year.

The city’s new 0.25 percent sales tax for air service at Yampa Valley Regional Airport collected $113,795 in March, bringing the first quarter total to $292,779.

The city’s sales tax revenues now have experienced year-over-year decreases in two of the first three months of 2012. February saw a slight increase, but that could be attributed to the extra day provided by the leap year. The decline in January was the first year-over-year monthly revenue decrease since April 2011.

The city budgeted for a 5 percent decrease in overall sales tax revenues this year. At 1.4 percent down through the first three months of 2012, the city still is on track to hit its revenue budget. The city will release final March revenue numbers in two weeks.

Preliminary March 2012 sales tax revenue

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