Accommodations tax collections in Steamboat Springs continue to outpace 2012 | SteamboatToday.com

Accommodations tax collections in Steamboat Springs continue to outpace 2012

— It still hasn’t come close to rebounding from the huge dive it took in 2009, but Steamboat Springs’ accommodations tax continues to show significant growth this year.

The city’s latest sales tax report shows that accommodations tax collections through May are outpacing last year’s revenue by 8 percent.

Although the 1 percent tax on nightly stays here generated 15 percent more revenue in May than it did in the same month last year, most of the gains this year are attributable to stronger lodging in the winter months when about two-thirds of the tax is generated.

Economist Scott Ford said the recent uptick in the city’s lodging tax collections comes from a combination of the increased room rates, an increased length of some guest stays and an increase in overnight visitors.

"They’re three points working in motion with each other," Ford said.

According to his recent analysis of the tax, 68 percent of the revenue is generated from December to March while 25 percent is generated from June through September.

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The revenue reached its peak of $855,000 in 2008 before it plummeted in 2009 to $651,000.

It rebounded greatly in 2011 before dipping slightly last year.

The tax’s recent growth comes as the Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday prepares to approve the first reading of an ordinance that would ask voters here to approve spending the tax for 20 years on hiking and biking trails and a new promenade on Yampa Street.

The council is projecting the tax will deliver no less than $600,000 per year, and if it generates more, it wants to split as much as $60,000 between improvements at the Haymaker Golf Course and marketing of the new amenities.

If the tax generates even more in a given year, the council has indicated it would like to see the excess put into a reserve fund, a proposition that also must go to voters.

The gains in the accommodations tax in the city’s latest sales tax report mirror other financial gains in Steamboat for May.

The report shows the city collected 6.36 percent, or $59,949, more in sales tax than it did in May 2012.

The highest increase came from utilities followed closely by an uptick in collections from lodging and amenities.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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