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Sales tax collection continues to rise

Even though one of the topics at tomorrow’s joint work session with Archuleta County will be ballot language concerning an increase in sales tax for November’s election, Pagosa Springs Interim Town Manager Greg Schulte will once again have good numbers to report when he gives his briefing on current sales tax collections at today’s town council meeting.

According to a report issued last week by LeeAnn Martin of the Archuleta County finance department, sales tax revenue collected in June totaled $689,797.64, an increase of $52,373.78 or 8.22 percent compared to June 2013.

All sales tax generated within the county, regardless of whether it comes from a business within town limits or not, is split evenly between the town and county.

According to Martin’s report, the sales tax revenue for June 2013 was $637,424 and for 2012 it was $637,361, which makes the average $637,393 for the same period over the last two years. Consequently, this month’s figure of $689,798 is also above the two-year average, up $52,405 or 8.22 percent.

Similarly, sales tax revenue for May 2013 was $504,611 and for 2012 it was $474,204, which makes the average $489,408 for the same period over the last two years. Consequently, last month’s figure of $531,304 was also above the two-year average, up $41,896 or 8.6 percent.

Finally, sales tax revenue for April 2013 was $403,711 and for 2012 it was $426,994, which makes the average $415,353 for the same period over the last two years. Consequently, that month’s figure of $434,189 was also above the two-year average, up $18,837 or 4.5 percent.

So far this year, February has been the only month to see a decline in sales tax revenues when compared to the average for the previous two years, and year-to-date revenue is up by 4.99 percent when compared to this time last year.

Since record keeping began in 2004, only one month has out-performed June 2014. In December 2006, the county collected $764,866.

According to an analysis Schulte provided in today’s agenda packet, June traditionally accounts for 9.4 percent of the annual collection, based on a 10-year average. July is traditionally the busiest month of the year, accounting for 12.2 percent of total annual collections.

Breaking the sales tax report for June down by sector, revenue generated by retail trade — the largest portion of Archuleta County’s economy — went from $303,088 in 2013 to $323,446 in 2014, an increase of $20,358 or 6.3 percent.

The second-largest portion of Archuleta County’s economy — accommodations and food service — generated $137,701 worth of revenue, an increase of $9,050 or 7.0 percent.

Town Tourism Committee Director Jennie Green will report to town council today that lodgers’ tax revenue for June, which is collected above and beyond the regular sales tax, totaled $51,717. This is $7,569 or 17.1 percent higher than 2013. The last seven months in a row have all set record highs for lodgers’ tax collection and it is up 19.57 percent year-to-date.

However, arts, entertainment and recreation — another sector of the local economy largely controlled by the flow of tourism — brought in $7,286 worth of sales tax revenue, a slight decrease compared to $7,610 last year.

Utilities companies contributed $43,941, which is $5,190 or 13.4 percent more than last year, and the construction industry rose by $268 to $15,121, while real estate and rental revenue fell from $16,316 last year to $16,154 this year.

Wholesale trade rose by 21.7 percent to $36,927 and manufacturing went from $34,111 to $38,722 over the year, while the mining industry garnered $5,740, a decrease of $523 or 8.4 percent.

The information industry brought in $26,750, an increase of $1,603 or 6.4 percent. Waste management collected $10,977, an increase of $7,223 or 192 percent. Health care, educational services and finance and insurance all rose, while scientific and technical services showed a slight decline over the year.

This story was posted on August 21, 2014.