City of Steamboat Springs continues to see steady gains in sales tax
December 18, 2013
Steamboat Springs — The city of Steamboat Springs is on track to put at least $1.9 million of excess sales tax revenue into its general fund reserve next year.
"We’re still seeing positive growth," Finance Director Kim Weber said about the sales tax collections that continue to outpace 2012 revenue month after month.
She said the city isn’t expecting the large increases it saw in the mid-2000s anytime soon, but it is encouraged by the steady monthly gains.
Wanting to be fiscally conservative in a time of ongoing economic uncertainty, the Steamboat Springs City Council last year told the city to budget for a 5.5 percent decrease in sales tax revenue over the 2012 collections.
At that time, the city was projecting a 2 to 3 percent increase over last year.
The city currently is projecting that collections will come in about 11 percent, or $1.9 million, over City Council’s budget figure, and sales tax revenue is on track to come in at least $980,000 more than last year’s total.
The latest sales tax for the city continues the streak of positive gains across several taxing areas in Steamboat.
Collections in October were about 6 percent higher than in the same month last year.
Year to date, collections are up 6 percent over last year.
To put that in a historical context, the city is nearing the amount of sales tax it collected in 2007, when $19.1 million was generated.
This year, Weber expects the sales tax to total at least $18.5 million.
The additional $1.9 million of revenue this year that is over budget would bring the city’s general fund reserve to about $20.5 million next year, Weber said.
The city is planning to transfer $10 million of that money into the capital projects fund next year, though Weber said very little of it is expected to be spent during the year.
In addition to sales tax being up, the city’s accommodations tax is seeing monthly gains, and collections are up 9 percent over last year.
The rise comes from a combination of more visitors to town and higher lodging rates.
Other highlights from the October sales tax report
• Restaurants, miscellaneous retail, liquor stores and lodging all saw gains in October compared to last year. Sporting goods and utilities saw decreases.
• All taxing areas except for the mountain area saw sales tax increases over last year. The west Steamboat area saw the greatest gains.