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February shows sales tax drop

Staff Writer

February sales tax revenue received last week totaled $428,721.37, according to a report from LeeAnn Martin from the Archuleta County finance department. This is a decrease of $32,116.97 or 6.97 percent compared to February 2013.

The total amount of sales tax for the month is split 50-50 between the county and the Town of Pagosa Springs, and town manager David Mitchem uses the town’s share of this revenue to create his monthly brief to town council.

According to Mitchem’s report, the revenue collected for February 2012 was $201,635 and in 2013 it was $230,419, giving a two-year average of $216,027. This means last week’s figure of $214,361 is only down by .77 percent.

In addition, January’s figure of $247,995 was up by 8.1 percent over the average of the previous two years for that period. This means that, while the annual comparison for sales tax collection may fluctuate from month to month, there is no need for the town to take emergency action to reduce its spending.

Mitchem’s report also explains that, for the entire year, sales tax revenue collected in 2013 was up by $143,796 or 4.5 percent compared to 2012. In 2012 it was up 2.58 percent or $80,387 over 2011, and in 2011 it was up by 5.38 percent or $161,855 over 2010.

In 2010, revenue was headed the other direction, being down 3.56 percent or $109,201 compared to 2009, and in 2009 it was down 7.47 percent or $247,730 compared to 2008.

On the other hand, Town Tourism Committee Director Jennie Green will report to town council today that lodgers’ tax revenue, which is collected above and beyond the regular sales tax, totaled $31,149 for February. This is $5,638 or 22.1 percent higher than in February 2013.

The end of the year total for lodgers’ tax was $442,394 in 2013. This is 6.89 percent or $28,626 higher than 2012, and the most the TTC has ever collect since it started in 2007. February and March were the only months last year to show a decline compared to the previous year, and Mitchem explained that it was due to “one of the motels being in foreclosure and changing ownership.”

Breaking this month’s sales tax report from the county down by sector, the only areas to show an increase in revenue over the previous year were accommodations and food service, professional and scientific services and educational services. All other sectors lost ground.

Accommodations and food service, the second-largest portion of Archuleta County’s economy, generated $75,297, an increase of $5,176 or 7.4 percent compared to 2013, whereas the largest portion of Archuleta County’s economy, retail trade, only generated $198,260, a decrease of $6,202 or 3 percent.

In addition, the utility companies only contributed $69,302, which is $10,270 or 12.9 percent less than last year, while real estate and rental revenue fell from $13,235 last year to $9,763 this year and the construction industry lost $6,491 or 55.3 percent.

ed.fincher@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on April 17, 2014.