BASALT - Basalt reaped more sales tax revenues year to year for the third straight month in October, according to a report released by the town government Thursday.
The town collected $281,420 for the month from its 3 percent sales tax levy. That is an increase of 15.4 percent from October 2011 when $243,852 was collected, the report showed.
As in August and September, retail food sales soared in October. Whole Foods Market opened in mid-August. The natural grocer anticipated that it would draw shoppers from throughout the region. The sales tax revenue growth suggests that is happening.
Sales tax revenues from retail food stores skyrocketed to $128,037 this year from $93,685 last year for October.
Basalt businesses faced a mixed bag in October. Restaurants with bars saw sales increase 11.7 percent, but restaurants without bars fell 12 percent. Businesses that sell building materials were up 40.5 percent, but sales fell 24 percent for general retailers, which include the mom-and-pop shops in town. Meanwhile, stores selling sporting goods were up 10 percent.
The report reflects sales taxes collected by businesses in October but paid in November.
For the fiscal year, which started in December, sales are up 7 percent with one month to go. The town has collected $3.16 million so far compared to $2.95 million last year at the same point. Individual businesses are likely to have performances different from the average.
Sales tax revenues year-to-date from grocery stores and other retail food outlets is up 10 percent to $1.35 million from $1.23 million.
Sales of building materials are up 6.57 percent.
Sales by restaurants with bars are up 8.69 percent.
General retail sales are up 13.25 percent while sport retail goods are up 9.42 percent. The report shows that retail shops are experiencing their best year since pre-recession 2008.