Basalt’s April sales taxes down 17 percent |

Basalt’s April sales taxes down 17 percent

BASALT – The recession hit Basalt businesses particularly hard in April, according to the latest sales tax report.

Sales tax revenues were down almost 17 percent for the month, according to the report by town finance director Judi Tippetts. The town collected $228,576 in tax revenues on sales in April, compared to $274,174 for the same month last year. (Because of the delays in collections, sales in April were recorded for May.)

For the town’s fiscal year so far, December through April, sales tax revenues have plunged 9 percent, from $1.56 million last year to $1.41 million this year, the report shows. Just about every major sector of the economy was down in April and for the year to date.

Retail food businesses, which include City Market, are flat so far this year. The supermarkets generated $630,962 in tax revenues this year compared to $633,681 last year.

Sales taxes from general retail business plunged 31 percent. Revenues from general stores were $199,808 this year compared to $288,635 last year.

Restaurants with bars dropped 13 percent to sales tax revenues of $106,945 from $123,486.

Building supply stores saw sales fall almost 38 percent. Tax revenues were only $85,284 from December through April this year compared to $136,729 last year, the report says.

Automotive, lodging and sporting retail businesses also saw their sales sag for the first five months of the town’s fiscal year. Liquor stores were the only winner. Sales were up 8.5 percent, the report says. Sales tax revenues from liquor stores are $75,888 year to date, compared to $69,927 last year.

The town government, chamber of commerce and business owners launched a program last week to try to spur summer business. Shoppers who accumulate $300 in purchases will get a $30 gift certificate good at participating businesses and restaurants. The program runs through Sept. 15.

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