Report: Business booming in Basalt |

Report: Business booming in Basalt

Cash registers are ringing in Basalt again, making town officials as happy as the merchants.Sales tax receipts are smashing the paltry mark set last year and are on pace to set a new record, according to a report by Basalt Finance Director Renae Gustine.From December through June, the town collected about $1 million in sales tax receipts, Gustine said. Last year at the same time $884,000 had been collected.In 2001, the record year for sales tax collections, $976,000 had been collected through June.Sales tax revenues dropped for the town in 2002 and again in 2003, as they did with many jurisdictions in the Roaring Fork Valley. The drop in 2002 was the first in a decade of steady growth for the town.The Town Council opted for cautious planning and budgeted for only a marginal increase this year. About 75 percent of all revenues for the town government come from sales taxes, so higher receipts could be a big boost for the budget.Gustine’s report showed that the biggest increase in sales tax receipts came from retail food outlets. The El Jebel City Market is the main contributor in that category.Sales tax receipts from retail food outlets alone hit $400,000 through June, according to the town’s report, up from about $333,000 last year.Revenues from June, which were collected in July, were up almost 6 percent over the month last year. Basalt’s busiest months are traditionally July and August because the economy is so dependent on trout fishing in the Fryingpan River and from higher occupancy at the Roaring Fork Golf Club.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is

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