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Sales tax figures positive, once the fog clears

Archuleta County Finance Director Diane Sorensen recently reported the September sales tax revenue received in November was $596,851 — an apparant decrease of $30,375 or 4.84 percent when compared to September 2011. And, to date, on the face of it, sales tax revenue is up 1.3 percent over 2011.

However, as explained by Jim McQuiggin in an earlier SUN article, a 2011 state audit of the transportation and warehousing sector has caused some anomalous figures this year. In September 2011, the transportation and warehousing sector is credited with $41,373 worth of sales tax, according to the adjustment, whereas for September of this year the industry only contributed $238, an astronomical decline of $41,135.

Once that anomalous figure is subtracted from the total for September 2011, reducing it to $586,090, a more accurate comparison can be achieved. As it turns out, total sales tax revenue for September 2012 is actually up by $10,761 or 1.8 percent.

This means that the year-to-date sales tax revenue, once an adjustment has been made to the transportation and warehousing numbers for the entire year, is actually up by $275,264 or 6.2 percent.

As far as the remaining sectors are concerned, sales tax revenue generated by retail trade, the largest portion of Archuleta County’s economy, went from $265,564 in September 2011 to $272,058 in 2012, an increase of $6,494 or 2.4 percent.

Sales tax revenue generated by accommodations and food service, the second largest portion of Archuleta County’s economy, went from $108,362 in September 2011 to $112,618 in 2012, an increase of $4,256 or 3.9 percent.

For the construction industry, sales tax revenue rose from $13,462 in September 2011 to $13,934 in 2012, an increase of $472 or 3.5 percent, while revenue from manufacturing fell from $36,076 in September 2011 to $33,824 in 2012, a decrease of $2,252 or 6.2 percent.

Sales tax revenue generated by mining rose from $4,393 in September 2011 to $7,316 in 2012, an increase of $2,923 or 66.5 percent, while revenue from the information industry fell from $33,771 in September 2011 to $27,052 in 2012, a decrease of $6,719 or 19.9 percent.

Sales tax revenue generated by wholesale trade, utilities, finance and insurance, scientific and technical service, and health care and social service all rose slightly over the year, while educational services and arts, entertainment and recreation reported slight declines.

ed.fincher@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on November 28, 2012.