Report: Aspen retail up, real estate down in 2016

Staff report

solid november

Aspen retailers in November continued the 2016 trend of increased sales. Below is the performance breakdown of each category. Percentages included within parentheses denote losses.

Accommodations $4.9 million 30%

Restaurants/bars $3.7 million 2%

Sports equipment/clothing $1.5 million (21%)

Clothing $1.8 million 1%

Food/drug $2.9 million 6%

Liquor/marijuana $876,555 2%

General retail $1.3 million (19%)

Construction $3.7 million 11%

Luxury goods $1.4 million 101%

Utilities $2.8 million (5%)

Automobile $1.7 million (9%)

Misc. $966,846 55%

Total $27.5 million 7%

Source: City of Aspen Finance Department

Aspen retailers combined to generate $27.5 million in total revenue in November, marking a 7 percent improvement over November 2015.

The city’s coffers benefited as a result, drawing $606,965 in sales taxes, which was 7 percent more than the anticipated $569,000 for November.

Those financial nuggets and others are available in the city Finance Department’s November 2016 Consumption Tax Report released Monday.

November’s performance continued last year’s trend of retailers trekking ahead of 2015. From January through November last year, retailers rang up $605.2 million in sales, a 6 percent improvement over the first 11 months of 2015. The city also collected $12.7 million in sales taxes for that period last year, compared with $11.9 million from January through November of 2015, the report shows.

Sales figures for December and the entire 2016 will be released in February.

The entire year, however, was made available this week for the real estate transfer tax collections for the city’s Wheeler Opera House and affordable-housing funds.

The portion of the transfer tax that benefits the housing fund fell 21 percent short of projections, drawing $6.3 million rather than the $8 million that was budgeted. In 2015, that same fund collected $10 million.

On the Wheeler side, $3.3 million was collected in 2016, 22 percent lower than the $4.3 million projected, and well short of the $5.4 million reaped in 2015.


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