Sales tax revenues rise in July | AspenTimes.com

Sales tax revenues rise in July

Abigail Eagye

City sales tax revenues rose in July, continuing an upward trend throughout the year.July 2006 revenues were up 2.2 percent over July 2005, and year-to-date revenues rose 7.8 percent over the same period last year.Total sales tax revenues for July were $1,066,774, and year-to-date revenues through July totaled $6,358,684.Lodging and restaurant sales continued to rise. Lodging sales tax revenues for July were up 4.7 percent over July of last year, and year-to-date lodging revenue rose 8.7 percent over last year.July restaurant sales tax revenues rose 0.5 percent over July 2005, and year-to-date revenues were up 9.3 percent.City Finance Director Paul Menter said the numbers say the city’s economy is still going strong. Although a 2.2 percent jump over July of 2005 might look small, Menter said it’s still a sign of healthy growth because July of 2005 saw a 14 percent increase in retail sales. And looking at the numbers in the context of the past two years, the city is still seeing 16-17 percent growth in retail sales.”We really saw significant increases in retail activity last year, and we’re continuing to see those levels and higher,” he said.Construction activity, while frustrating for many, also contributes to stronger sales in the city.”The numbers seem to indicate it’s helping some of the businesses, particularly lunch business,” he said.Real estate also continues to be strong. Year-to-date revenues from the city’s housing real estate transfer tax are up 16 percent, totaling $7,131,883 through August of this year.Other retail sectors that saw growth include sports equipment and clothing stores, up 15.8 percent, and clothing stores, up 9.8 percent. Increases in those areas, as well as in lodging, indicate that retail activity related to tourism continues to grow at a faster pace than the rest of the retail economy.If sales tax collections follow historical trends for the rest of the year, Menter reported, the city is on track to see 6 percent growth in sales tax for the year.Abigail Eagye’s e-mail address is abby@aspentimes.com