Glenwood sales tax revenues plunge in November | AspenTimes.com

Glenwood sales tax revenues plunge in November

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Pete Fowler/Post IndependentDowntown Glenwood Springs was apparently quiet in November. Sales tax revenue for the month fell 7.53 percent.
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Sales tax revenues in Glenwood Springs continued to plunge in November, according to figures released Wednesday by the city.

In fact, revenues have been down each month, compared to the prior year, since June.

November marked the worst month of 2008; revenues fell 7.53 percent from the same month a year earlier. For the year through November, sales tax revenue was .14 percent below the first 11 months of 2007.

Revenues from a tax on short-term lodging also took a hit in November. After starting in January at 20.65 percent up, November 2008 was 13.69 percent below November 2007. It was .6 percent down for the year through November, compared to the same period in 2007.

“We’re at this point slightly down in pool revenue and a number of people in lodge occupancy, but it’s just a few percent,” said Hot Springs Lodge and Pool general manager Kjell Mitchell.

He said the lodge and pool is pleased that it’s been able to stay relatively close to its usual revenues.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park spokeswoman Mandy Gauldin said in an e-mail, “Numbers were down a little in November, but overall, 2008 was a strong year for the adventure park.”

Despite the recession and declining sales and lodging tax revenues, Glenwood Springs city officials approved a budget last month they described as maintaining the “status quo,” based on projections of a 2 percent increase in sales revenues in 2009.

Though that increase now seems unlikely, city officials have said they have large cash reserves that can carry through years of economic downturn and they can cut spending later if needed.

The City Council also approved merit-based pay raises for city employees of up to 2 percent. That was less than the traditional 3 or 4 percent. The City Council vowed to consider bigger raises retroactively if the economy improves this year.

President-elect Barack Obama reportedly warned Thursday that time is running out to prevent a “deep and severe” recession lasting years. Retailers around the country on Thursday reported dismal December sales figures that marked the worst holiday sales since at least 1969.

Wal-Mart surprised observers by cutting its fourth-quarter earnings outlook. Macy’s said Thursday it will close 11 stores in nine states, two of them in Colorado, affecting 960 employees. One will close in Colorado Springs and another in Westminster.

Aspen’s sales tax revenue slipped 5.5 percent and its lodging tax revenue was down 25.1 percent in November 2008, compared to November 2007. But Aspen was still up in revenue for the year through November.

The Aspen City Council has said Aspen’s 2009 budget must project no sales tax growth.

pfowler@postindependent.com


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