Aspen retailers haul in more than $700 million in 2016 |

Aspen retailers haul in more than $700 million in 2016

Staff report

Aspen retailers in 2016 outperformed the previous year’s sales volume by 6 percent, accounting for nearly $15 million in sales tax proceeds pumped into city coffers.

That’s according to the city Finance Department’s Consumption Tax Report for 2016 that was released Tuesday.

Led by the lodging industry, which rang up nearly $209 million in sales last year, retailers registered nearly $714 million in sales in 2016 (see factbox).

December sales helped buoy that figure with almost $108 million in revenue, a 3 percent improvement over December 2015, according to the report.

“December generally accounts for roughly 15 percent of the entire year’s sales and collections,” noted Finance Director Don Taylor in the report.

The city sales tax collections last year were 4 percent higher than the $14.3 million that was budgeted. The figure also extended the trend of continued increases in sales tax collections, which were $14 million in 2015, $13.1 million in 2014, $11.8 million in 2013, $11.1 million in 2012, $10.5 million in 2011 and $9.8 million in 2010, the report shows.

The city’s 2 percent lodging tax collections were higher as well, finishing the year 9 percent better than 2015.

The 1.5 percent lodging tax, which benefits the city’s marketing efforts, hauled in $2.6 million last year, compared with $2.4 million in 2015, $2.2 million in 2014, $1.9 million in 2013, $1.8 million in 2012, and $1.6 million in 2011.

The 0.5 percent portion of the tax, which helps support the city’s Transportation Department, brought in $878,776 last year, compared with $797,432 in 2015, $721,296 in 2014, $638,832 in 2013, $592,071 in 2012, and $533,228 in 2011, according to the report.

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