October another down month for Aspen sales tax revenues
ASPEN – The city of Aspen’s sales tax revenues were down in October, making it yet another down month for retailers, restaurants and other industries.According to the city’s consumption tax report, sales tax collections were down 4 percent in October from the same month in 2008.While the decline is attributed to the national recession, city finance director Don Taylor pointed out that Aspen’s tax rate decreased from 2.2 to 2.1 percent in September.”Stated another way the tax rate is now 4.5 percent lower than prior to September,” he wrote in the consumption report.Categories that are dependent on tourist-oriented sales didn’t fare well in October. Tourist accommodations, while still down, saw its smallest decrease for any month this year and the trend is positive, according to Taylor.Lodging tax collections for October were down 6 percent from the same month in 2008. Year-to-date collections through September were down 27 percent from 2008.Aspen’s portion of Pitkin County’s sales tax for September 2009 were down 25 percent from 2008.Year-to-date Wheeler real estate transfer tax (RETT) collections through November were 7 percent over the same period in 2008. The year-to-date housing real estate transfer tax collections through November were 6 percent over collections for the same period in 2008.Both of the RETTs are reflecting a slight increase over last year most likely as a result of closing units at the Residences at the Little Nell and other fractionals, according to Taylor. While January, February and August through November had increases, March through July were down compared to 2008.
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