Business a mixed bag in Basalt in June |

Business a mixed bag in Basalt in June

Diners enjoy the deck at Heather's restaurant in Basalt.
Anna Stonehouse / The Aspen Times |

Basalt’s retail sales tax collections were up 2.82 percent in July compared with one year earlier, but the latest report from Town Hall showed uneven performance in major economic sectors.

The town collected $411,148 in sales taxes in July. Those reflect sales that businesses made in June, according to Finance Director and Acting Town Manager Judi Tippetts. Businesses turn in the taxes the month after they are collected.

Basalt’s grocery stores accounted for a good share of the overall growth. Sales were up 6.5 percent compared with the prior year. Retail food sales produced $167,832 in taxes for the town in July, easily the biggest contributor to town coffers.

Sales taxes from lodging surged, reflecting the addition of Element by Westin, a hotel in Willits Town Center. Sales taxes from lodging soared to $22,568 in July compared with just $5,312 for the same month in 2015.

Although more people were staying in Basalt, they didn’t create a boon for local restaurants. Sales taxes generated by restaurants with bars sagged 31.4 percent to $28,788 compared with the same month last year. Restaurants without bars managed a 3.75 percent increase.

The general retail category was down 14.3 percent, the report said. General retail registered $71,693 in taxes in July compared with $83,661 for the month the prior year.

Sporting-retail sales continued to soar. Sales were up 23.66 percent.

Summer is Basalt’s strongest season, so sales in June are particularly important to businesses.

For the year, Basalt’s sales tax collections are up 3.86 percent from 2015 through July. The town has hauled in $2.59 million through July compared with $2.49 million over the same period in 2015.

Retail food sales were up a solid 5 percent, with sales generating $1.14 million in taxes for the town through July.

Lodging sales tax skyrocketed 207 percent through July, generating $83,594 in sales tax revenue.

General retail and restaurants with bars were flat in sales tax generation through July, reflecting actual sales through June.

Sporting retail is up nearly 10.5 percent year-to-date through July.

The report reflecting July sales and sales taxes paid in August will be available later this month.

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