December sales tax revenue down

Staff Writer

At a time when an active group of Pagosa Springs’ citizens is arguing that steadily increasing sales tax revenues are enough to support an $18 million municipal debt for the purpose of building a community recreation center, the economy throws in a little reminder that things can occasionally go the other way.

December Sales Tax revenue received earlier this week totaled $624,799.55, a decrease of $30,534.88 or 4.66 percent compared to December 2012, according to a report from LeeAnn Foutz from the Archuleta County Finance Department.


This story was posted on February 20, 2014.

10 Responses to December sales tax revenue down

  1. ajpagosa

    February 20, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    If the DEA allegations are true, I wonder how much sales tax revenue was based on cartel drug money laundered through the town. One way that is done is a lot of imaginary visitors could show up at hotels and run up big tabs. Sales tax is paid but the visitors never existed, though the remainder after taxes is now “clean”. Someone more familiar with the situation maybe could look into it.

    Again if this were true, one would expect to see declining tax revenues year over year in which the operation was uncovered and the laundering stopped. I recall December 2013 as being pretty busy around here compared to 2012 so the idea that revenue is actually down is odd.

    The other issue is these businesses if actually found to have been laundering money will be seized by the Feds. In addition to lost tax revenue from laundering, the town may have to face declining legitimate revenues from businesses under new management, or there may be an adjustment period until they get into the hands of new owners who know how to operate them.

    The final question would be, over time say last 10 years, how much of that tax revenue was clean, how much dirty? Pretty sure no one knows at this point.

  2. Brian Griffin

    February 20, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Wow. Not too hard to see where this is headed. Nice op piece this week in The Ghost, by the way. I particularly like this gem, “This Rec Center is actually bad for the children, unless your idea of good parenting is selling your children to into debt slavery to investment bankers.” Out there, man.

  3. ajpagosa

    February 21, 2014 at 4:19 am

    Try to stay on point here for once. Mr. Fincher raises an important fact, sales tax revenues are actually declining YOY, and if that trend continues it is ominous for any new expenditures, not just a rec center.

    Also a fact is the DEA is alleging a large money laundering operation was operating in this town out of the biggest hotel here. That will impact sales tax revenues if true, both historical and future projections based on them. Those businesses will be seized and shut down and/or under new management. If you have something factual to contribute that is relevant to these two points please do so.

    Off topic: Very glad to see you are reading the Post, maybe you will learn something. Hope to see others do the same. They aren’t as monolithic ideologically as you seem to frequently want to imply, maybe you could write something for them. They do have pretty good lawyers though.

  4. Brian Griffin

    February 21, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Last post. Looks like you’ve got it figured out. Funny how The Ghost and you imply proponents of the rec center are politically connected, yet I see two-thirds of the county board, at least two town council members (one the mayor since forever) and one waffling member, Volger, who will “pray” we make the right decision, ’cause that usually works, some staff of The SUN, the entire delusional staff of The Ghost and several prominent “businessmen” coming out against this. Yeah, we’ve got the inside track. By the way, sales tax went up 4.5% last year, so I guess Ed Fincher thinks we should have built it then?? Again, I leave our readers with all you need to know about aj, this quote in The Ghost, “This Rec Center is actually bad for the children, unless your idea of
    good parenting is selling your children (sic) into debt slavery to
    investment bankers.” Gotta hit the campaign trail. Watch those chemtrails.

  5. ajpagosa

    February 22, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Not sure why you object to that line so much, it is literally true. What the rec center people are doing, is like the dumb and dumber terrorists:

    “Give us $45M or we’ll hurt our children”

    Then they hand over the money to investment bankers and developers and let their children pay for it all later when they grow up.

    Additionally what sort of values do you teach your children, saying oh Amy in Aspen has a pony so WE deserve a pony, and we’ll just take some money from our neighbors without their consent to get it.

    Folks, rec center proponents are this new breed of affluent Marxist, who believe they know how to spend your money better than you do and have the right to just take it by any means necessary for whatever purpose they want. But not to feed the hungry or cloth the poor this time. What I can’t figure out is they are in bed with the ruthless capitalists to buy themselves stair climbers, swimming pools, and Pilates equipment. Workers of the world, unite! And lose a few pounds, maybe do some Zumba, would madam care for a little botox perhaps, for the children?

    In any case please vote NO, and stop the madness. For the children (LOL).

  6. Billy Skipper

    February 23, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Just joined the fray, but giving Brian the edge, so far. What do lawyers have to do with this?

  7. Billy Skipper

    February 23, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Not that I know that much about money laundering, but you have to actually give the state it’s share of the sales taxes. The point of money laundering is to hide the fact the fact you are in dirty business, not give the state and Feds a tip as to how much biz you’re doing. Right?

  8. ajpagosa

    February 23, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    A common way to launder money, not that I am any expert, is through a large cash business and pay taxes on it. Like a restaurant or a bar or a hotel. Then the money is “legit” and you can invest it with Merrill Lynch for example. Was only floating the possibility, and asking if anyone knows. I do not but would like to know what if any measurable effect it would have on revenue, and then more important what effect losing the businesses either permanently or for a period of time might have on our local economy.

  9. ajpagosa

    February 23, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Well I guess the Sun doesn’t want you to know, they keep deleting my response. It isn’t important anyway. No hard feeling oh Great Moderator.

  10. Ray Reddington

    February 24, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Ding Ding, and the winner is …ajpagosa!