Basalt economy remains strong through September
Basalt’s super-charged economy kept up the momentum through September, according to the latest sales tax report released Tuesday.
The October tax report showed sales were up 29.4% over the same month the year before. Basalt collected $806,041 for the month compared with $622,853 the year before. The October sales tax report reflects actual sales in September.
Town Finance Director Christy Chicoine wrote in her report that there was a unique issue that skewed the October numbers. One of the town’s large grocery stores had a timing difference in when it collected sales taxes and when it forwarded them to the state. That artificially increased the retail food industry statistics for October, she said.
For the year-to-date through October, sales tax revenue is up $917,278 or 17% above last year, the report said. Basalt has collected nearly $6.35 million this year compared with $5.43 million at the same point last year.
Retail food is up 14.6% over last year. The grocery stores and other purveyors of retail food have generated $2.17 million in sales tax revenue this year compared to $1.9 million at the same point last year.
Sales of building materials are up 52% compared with last year. General retail sales, including online shopping, are up 32% while sporting goods retail is up nearly 12%. Retail liquor is up almost 22%.
On the other side of the ledger, businesses that have faced capacity restrictions at times since the pandemic broke out in March have lower numbers year-to-date. Lodging is down 12%. Restaurants without bars are off 16.5% while restaurants with bars are down 4%. Restaurants were aided by a warm, dry summer that allowed outdoor seating on most days and eased the sting of capacity limits.
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Development in Basalt barely skipped a beat in 2020 despite the coronavirus. It’s expected to be busier next year.