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January sales tax up 8.5 percent over 2012

Staff Writer

If things are going well in Texas, business will be booming in Pagosa Country as well, and according to a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Texas is growing.

“Numerous metropolitan statistical areas, micropolitan statistical areas and counties that were among the fastest-growing last year were located in, or at least near, the Great Plains and West Texas, according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released today,” the March 14 report stated.

Midland, Texas, was the fastest-growing metro area in the country between July 1, 2011, and July 1, 2012, with a population increase of 4.6 percent. Odessa ranked fifth overall and the Austin-Round Rock area was seventh.

“After a long period of out-migration, some parts of the Great Plains — from just south of the Canadian border all the way down to West Texas — are experiencing rapid population growth,” said Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau’s senior adviser. “There are probably many factors fueling this growth on the prairie, but no doubt the energy boom is playing a role.”

This significant population growth in Texas and other parts of the Great Plains means Archuleta County has experienced a much needed jump start for the beginning of 2013.

January sales tax revenue received in March 2013 totaled $477,510, which is an increase of $37,390 or 8.5 percent over January 2012, according to a recent report by LeeAnn Foutz of the Archuleta County Finance Department.

As evidence of the link between the Texas boom and the growth in the local economy, a breakdown of the sales tax report by industry sectors reveals that the three tourism-related industries were the largest areas of growth.

Retail trade, which accounted for 50.4 percent of the total sales tax collection in January — more than all of the other sectors combined — was at $240,874, an increase of $41,564 or 20.9 percent.

Accommodation and food services, the second largest sector of the local economy, accounted for 14.4 percent of the total sales tax collection with $68,815, an increase of $3,302 or 5 percent. Arts, entertainment and recreation — the third main tourist related industry — accounted for $4,729 worth of sales tax in January 2013, an increase of $957 or 25.4 percent compared to 2012.

Other areas of growth include the utility companies, which accounted for $67,243 worth of sales tax in January 2013, an increase of $3,094 or 4.8 percent compared to 2012. Manufacturing collected $17,808 worth of sales tax in January 2013, an increase of $2,150 or 13.7 percent compared to the previous year. Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting was at $189 compared to nothing in January of last year.

Professional, scientific and technical services collected $1,623 in sales tax revenue for January 2013, an increase of $1,010 or 165 percent compared to 2012. The finance and insurance industry accounted for $845 worth of sales tax in January 2013, an increase of $198 or 30.6 percent compared to 2012. The transportation and warehousing sector, which caused such trouble in the numbers last year, only accounted for $30 worth of sales tax in January 2013, compared to $3 in 2012 a whopping increase of 900 percent.

On the other side of the coin, the biggest drop occurred in the information industry, which only generated $25,514 worth of sales tax revenue in January of 2013, a drop of $7,790 or 23.4 percent. Construction companies collected $4,121 worth of sales tax revenue, a drop of $2,414 or 36.9 percent compared to January 2012. The real estate business produced only $17,256 in tax revenues in January 2013, a drop of $2,231 or 11.4 percent.

Wholesale trade accounted for $14,568 worth of sales tax revenue in January of 2013, a drop of $988 or 6.4 percent. The mining industry accounted for $1,202, a drop of $941 or 43.9 percent compared to the sales tax collected in January 2012. Administration, support and waste management services accounted for $1,096 worth of sales tax revenue in January of 2013, a drop of $532 or 32.7 percent.

Health care and social assistance, educational services and other services each fell slightly as well.

ed.fincher@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on March 21, 2013.