Glenwood Springs sales tax declines – again |

Glenwood Springs sales tax declines – again

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The city of Glenwood Springs reported sales tax revenue declines for a 17th straight month in October.

According to a report issued by city Finance Director Mike Harman, October revenues were down nearly 20 percent compared to the same month in 2008. It was the third highest single-month decline for the year, behind September and May. Still, October brought in more than $1 million in revenues. Through October, city sales tax revenues are off a reported 18 percent for the year.

Declines that were “significantly worse” than anticipated entering 2009, said City Manager Jeff Hecksel – “Way worse than what we were anticipating.”

But, while the numbers continue to fall, the decline has slackened.

The city kicked off the year with an 11 percent decline in January. The declines dropped another 5 percent over the next three months, and were off 16 percent for the year by April. Since then, however, the year-over-year decline has grown by less than 2 percent.

“Whether or not it’s the bottom or not is anybody’s guess,” Hecksel said. “It’s been fairly consistent the past few months. … It’s sort of teeter-tottered a little bit, but not by much.”

While June, July, and August were some of the year’s strongest months to date, shoppers maintained some consistency in September as well. September, which brought in nearly $1.2 million in revenues, ranks the third-highest grossing month this year behind June and July. However, September was still down more than 20 percent from the same month the previous year.

Becky and Corey Spagnolo decided to shut Spagnolo’s Pizza in Glenwood only seven months after they opened the business, in part because of the drop in business in October, they said.

Becky said that the summer months were good, and things were looking up, but everything changed when October hit.

“[Business] just nose-dived in October,” she previously said.

December, though, has proven to be the strongest month of the year for more than a decade, and administrators like Hecksel are hoping that will remain true.

“Now we just have to wait and see what happens in November and December,” Hecksel said.

He said, in his opinion, last December’s weather had an effect on the holiday shopping season. And that this year’s weather may prove to be just what the city, and retailers, need.

“It bodes well for retailers that the weather leading up to Christmas has been favorable this year,” Hecksel said.

The November report will likely be out the first of the year, and the December report will be issued later in January.

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