Aspen retail sales up in November |

Aspen retail sales up in November

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado
City of AspenThe breakdown of sales by category in November 2010.

ASPEN – City of Aspen retail sales were nearly 5 percent higher in November compared with the same month in 2009, according to the monthly consumption report released by the city’s finance department.

Overall sales in November totaled $19.43 million, up from November 2009’s $18.52 million, the report states. The exact amount of the sales increase from November 2009 was $914,906.

Finance Director Don Taylor wrote in a memorandum to the City Council that the increase suggests Aspen’s economy is improving. Year-to-date sales through November 2010 show an increase of 4 percent, although sales-tax collections remained flat for the year; Taylor attributes that to the September 2009 decrease in the city’s sales tax rate from 2.2 percent to 2.1 percent.

Looking at November-to-November comparisons, accommodations, specialty retail, sports equipment and clothing realized big gains during the month in 2010. Jewelry-gallery-fur store sales saw a significant decrease of 66 percent, and the miscellaneous category took a 49 percent hit. Restaurant and bar sales were down 9 percent, and liquor-store sales were flat.

As for other items in the report, Taylor pointed out that lodging-tax collections through November saw a 10 percent increase compared with the same 11 months in 2009. Year-to-date Wheeler Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT) collections through December were even with 2009, and housing RETT collections through December were up 3 percent from 2009.

Wide fluctuations in RETT collections are the norm, the report states.

The December 2010 sales tax report, the final report of the year, is due out in early February.

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