Sales surging again in Basalt | AspenTimes.com

Sales surging again in Basalt

Basalt’s sales tax revenues are up almost 10 percent so far this year, thanks in large part to a strong showing by grocery stores.The town has collected about $1,098,000 in sales tax revenues from January through July. That was about $99,000 more than what was collected over the same period in 2004, according to a report by town Finance Director Judi Tippetts.The statistics reflect taxes paid to businesses from December through June. It takes a month for the town government to receive taxes after establishments collect them.The latest sales tax report shows just how dependent Basalt is on City Market and Clark’s Market for revenues. Those grocery stores and other retail food establishments accounted for $429,309, or 39 percent, of the sales tax revenues collected through July.Sales by grocery stores were up 8 percent over the first seven months compared to last year, according to Tippetts’ report. General retail stores were up 21 percent.Sales by restaurants without bars were up 20.5 percent, while restaurants with bars saw sales rise 7.26 percent.Sporting goods stores and liquor stores have experienced small drops in sales in 2005 compared to the same period last year.July collections were up overall by about 11.5 percent. Typically the biggest collections come in August and September, reflecting sales in the heart of summer.Basalt reaped a record amount of sales tax last year after suffering through poor years in 2002 and 2003, when much of the national economy suffered after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacks on the United States. So this year’s sales are on a record pace.Sales taxes account for about 75 percent of all tax revenues for the town and 50 percent of the town’s general fund budget.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com

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