If building permits are up, why is construction sales tax down?

While sales tax collections in Archuleta County have broken several records this year, and all indications are that the local economy is recovering after the most recent recession, one industry sector has remained comparatively flat.

In July and August, while the overall economy grew by 21.4 and 14.6 percent, respectively, the construction industry was actually down — by 35.5 percent in July and 23.3 percent in August.

Admittedly, construction sales were up considerably in February (by 148.8 percent), but before that, they were down 8.4 percent in January. Unusually warm weather during the winter months and unusually stormy weather in the late spring and early summer may have played a role in all of these odd fluctuations.

However, looking at the year-to-date totals, the construction industry had only gained $4,521 or 4.3 percent by the end of August when compared to the same period in 2014, while at the same time overall tax collections have grown by $890,941 or 19.2 percent.

On the other hand, the number of building permits issued by both the Town of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County seems to contradict the stale construction sales tax numbers.

Margaret Gallegos from the Pagosa Springs Planning Department reported that the town has issued 41 building permits so far this year. These permits are broken down into six categories: new construction, additions and interior improvements, for both residential and commercial projects.

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This story was posted on November 12, 2015.