July’s sales tax receipts up 3.4 percent from 2010 | SteamboatToday.com

July’s sales tax receipts up 3.4 percent from 2010

Jack Weinstein

— For the third straight month, city of Steamboat Springs sales tax collections increased from the corresponding month in 2010.

Sales taxes increased 3.4 percent in July from the same month last year, according to a preliminary report released Thursday by the city. Collections were up about 7.5 percent in June and nearly 2 percent in May.

The city collected $1,512,460 in July 2011 compared with $1,462,498 in July 2010. That brings year-to-date sales tax collections to more than $10.2 million, compared with nearly $9.9 million by this time in 2010. That amounts to a year-to-date increase of 3.25 percent.

Kim Weber, the city's budget and tax manager, said Steamboat usually sees a spike in a particular sales tax category or location where those sales taxes are collected, but that didn't happen in July.

The city separates sales tax collections by category (miscellaneous retail, lodging and amenities, sporting goods, utilities, restaurants and liquor stores) and location (town, mountain area, U.S. Highway 40 corridor, regional and west Steamboat).

Only utilities declined, by 3.45 percent, while other categories saw modest increases in July from the same month last year. The same was true for locations, where revenues from each increased slightly from July 2010.

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"It was unusual to see the even split across the areas," Weber said. "However, I thought that was a good sign to show growth in every area and not one particular thing. That points to the fact that it wasn't one event or one isolated incident that contributed to the increases. It was an across-the-board increase."

The report also includes information about building use and accommodations taxes in July.

Building-use taxes decreased nearly 39 percent in July from the previous year, but year-to-date collections still are up by more than 42 percent from July 2010. Accommodations taxes increased nearly 1 percent in July from July 2010, keeping year-to-date collections positive at more than 8 percent higher than last year.

Because Steamboat budgeted sales tax collections to decrease by 10 percent in 2011, Weber said the city is in good shape with year-to-date collections more than 3 percent higher than this time last year. But she said the city continues to project flat sales tax revenue for the rest of the year, in part because collections some months this year declined from 2010.

"We're going to continue to be conservative with our budget, but I do suspect we'll see small increases throughout the rest of the year," she said.

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