City’s tax revenue still climbing | AspenTimes.com

City’s tax revenue still climbing

Abigail Eagye

Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” To look at the percentages, Aspen tax collections are way up for the month of November. But Aspen Finance Director Paul Menter reported that because November is one of the smallest months of the fiscal year for sales tax collections, “small dollar amount fluctuations can result in large percentage fluctuations.”

Menter cited as an example the 38.1 percent increase in November’s lodging tax revenue over November 2005. Collections from the 1 percent lodging tax were $25,088 for the month, $913,781 for the year, up 10.7 percent for the year to date.

The city’s 2.2 percent sales tax collected a total of $473,162 in November, up 13.9 percent from November 2005. Aspen’s year-to-date collections through November were $8,984,711, up 6.5 percent over the same period last year.

“Based on the year-to-date performance, it appears that the city will end the year with approximately 6 percent growth in sales tax and 9 percent growth in lodging tax over 2005,” Menter reported.

November’s tourist accommodation revenue was up 34.8 percent over last year’s and 8.1 percent year-to-date over the same period in 2005.

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Restaurants and bars saw a 12.7 percent increase over November 2005 and were up 7.6 year-to-date over the same period last year.

Collections from real estate transfer taxes through December 2006 were up as well. Year-end Housing Real Estate Transfer Tax collections were $11,054,633, up 17 percent over 2005. Year-end collections from the Wheeler tax were $6,276,494, up 18 percent over 2005.

Menter reported that increases in price and volume of real estate transactions, particularly sales of new fractional units, contributed to the large jumps in transfer tax collections.

Based on unaudited preliminary totals, the two taxes together, as a combined total RETT, have increased 178.4 percent since 2001. The total RETT saw big jumps in both 2004 and 2005, increasing by 47.7 percent and 51.6 percent respectively in those years. The rate of growth slowed somewhat in 2006, with an increase in the total RETT of 17.2 percent.

Abigail Eagye’s e-mail address is abby@aspentimes.com

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