Aspen sales revenues holding strong
Although sales tax collections for October 2006 dropped 6.8 percent from October 2005, year-to-date collections are up 6.1 percent, according to figures the city of Aspen finance department released Monday.Retail sales for October were $18,309,235, with year-to-date sales reaching $384,295,708. Tourist accommodations and restaurants/bars, which represent the largest pieces of the sales tax pie, were both up 7.4 percent for the year. Both categories saw decreases over October of last year, however. Tourist accommodations dropped by 0.7 percent and restaurants/bars by 4.6 percent.Lodging tax collections for October and the year are up by 2.1 percent and 10.1 percent, respectively. The city collected $446,811 in October, bringing it to $9,400,242 for the year.November real estate transfer tax collections are up compared to the same month last year – the Wheeler RETT by 25 percent and the housing RETT by 23 percent. Both taxes have already surpassed 2006 budget projections. The Wheeler RETT is 128 percent ahead of the 2006 year-to-date budget, and the housing RETT is 101 percent ahead.In his report to the City Council, Finance Director Paul Menter said that, “October historically represents one of the four smallest months of the fiscal year for sales tax collections at only approximately 4.5 percent of the total annual sales tax collections.”At the current pace, he wrote, the city will still see 6 percent growth in sales tax and 9 percent growth in lodging tax by the end of the year.Abigail Eagye’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.
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Basalt mayoral candidates Bill Kane and Rob Leavitt said at a Feb. 10 forum they endorsed the town government’s $1.34 million expenditure to expand a riverfront park. Candidate and councilman Bill Infante said not so fast and provided an alternative view.