Basalt collected record sales tax revenue in 2016, though growth rate slowed


Amounts collected by sector from Basalt’s 3% sales tax.

Retail food $2,154,353 +4.43%

General retail $783,500 -3.56%

Restaurants w/bar $397,571 +2.54%

Restaurants w/o bar $134,195 +10.2%

Building materials $271,799 -1.83%

Retail liquor $247,515 +4.71%

Sporting retail $232,332 +7.32%

Automotive $178,433 -9.31%

Lodging sales $167,000 +171.16%

Total sales $4,821,926 +3.79%

Source: Town of Basalt

Cumulative retail sales increased for the sixth straight year in Basalt in 2016, according to a report by the town’s Finance Department.

The town collected $4.82 million through its 3 percent sales tax in 2016. That was an increase of 3.8 percent from the $4.65 million collected the prior year.

The amount of tax collected indicates sales were at about $160.7 million last year compared with $155 million in 2015.

Sales and sales tax revenue set a record in 2016, though the rate of growth fell sharply compared with 2015’s gain over 2014. Sales soared 10 percent in 2015.

Sales tax revenue was significantly higher than the prerecession level. The town collected $3.8 million in 2008, or about $1 million less than 2016, the report showed.

Basalt is the breadbasket of the Roaring Fork Valley with the flagship City Market and Whole Foods, and the sales tax reports reflects that status. Tax revenue from retail food sales were $2.15 million in 2016, an increase of 4.4 percent over 2015. The grocery stores and other outlets selling retail food account for nearly half of the town’s sales tax revenue.

Sales tax from the lodging industry soared in 2016, the first full year that Element Hotel was open at Willits Town Center. Sales tax revenue soared 171 percent to $167,000 from $61,582 in 2015, the report showed.

While the cumulative sales were up, not all tides were rising for Basalt businesses.

Other segments of the economy that showed growth in 2016 were restaurants, sporting retail stores and liquor stores.

General retail shops were down as were automotive-oriented shops and businesses selling building materials.

Two-thirds of Basalt’s sales tax revenue go to the town government’s general fund while one-third is dedicated to open space and trails.