Aspen retail sales slip in June |

Aspen retail sales slip in June

ASPEN ” For the first time in several months, retail sales ” and sales tax revenue ” have slumped in Aspen, according to the resort’s June consumption tax report.

Retail sales were soft in June, down 2.8 percent from the same month last year, according to Aspen Finance Director Don Taylor. June retail sales were $38,353,430 and year-to-date sales are $274,324,055.

Lodging-tax collections for June were also down ” 13.5 percent from the same month in 2007. June revenue was $72,286 and year-to-date revenues are $735,202.

However, year to date, both sources of tax revenue were up. Sales tax collections through June were up 8 percent and lodging tax revenue was up 9.7 percent, compared to the first half of 2007, according to Taylor.

Aspen’s portion of Pitkin County’s sales tax for May was down 12.3 percent from 2007, although year-to-date collections through May were up 6.4 percent. May brought in $250,220 for the city and to date, $3,435,809.

Also not doing well is the Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT), which funds the Wheeler Opera House and the city’s affordable housing program.

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Year-to-date Wheeler RETT collections through July are 36 percent behind the same period in 2007, and are 14 percent behind what was budgeted as RETT revenue. The city of Aspen has collected $1,993,470 in RETT proceeds for the Wheeler so far this year, according to Taylor.

Year-to-date housing RETT collections through July are 35 percent behind 2007 and 24 percent behind budget. So far this year, $3,714,935 has been collected.

The largest contributor to the city’s tax revenue, tourist accommodations, is reflecting an 8.9 percent year-to-date increase.

The second largest contributor, restaurant and bars, is reflecting a 6.4 percent year-to-date increase.

Taylor reported that all of the major contributors to the city’s tax revenues continued to reflect significant year-to-date increases at the end of June, though June sales were off-pace.