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Sales tax results flat in 2012

Staff Writer

Sales tax revenues for September, November and December of 2012 were down significantly when compared to the previous year, cancelling out most of the earlier gains and leaving the year-end total flat, and while this news appears to reflect a lack of growth in the local economy, SUN readers will recall a glitch in the data created by a state audit of the transportation and warehousing sector.

According to the most recent report, sales tax revenues received by the county in February 2013 for December 2012 totaled $655,334. This is a decrease of $32,634 or 4.74 percent compared to December 2011, while the sales tax collection for all of 2012 totaled $6,341,499 compared to $6,333,632 for 2011, an increase of $7,867 or .1 percent.

However, for several months in 2011, the transportation and warehousing industry was credited with abnormally large contributions of revenue, totaling $267,854 for the year and including $3,342 for December. If this sector is subtracted out of the totals for both years, the year-end total for 2012 is up by $273,554 over 2011, or 4.5 percent, but December revenues are still down by $29,325 or 4.3 percent.

Diane Sorensen, who has been the Archuleta County finance director since December of2009, resigned her post effective Feb. 8 to become the finance director for La Plata County, leaving other Archuleta County finance department staff responsible for her duties until a replacement can be found. Consequently, this month’s sales tax report was issued by LeeAnn Foutz.

Breaking the sales tax report down by categories shows the largest portion of Archuleta County’s economy, retail trade, generated only $186 more tax revenue in December of 2012 than for the same month in 2011 — $372,743 compared to $372,557 — and revenue from real estate increased from $30,942 in December 2011 to only $31,597 in 2012, a gain of $655 or 2.1 percent.

Although the health care and social assistance industry also showed a significant gain in terms of percentage — $146 this year compared to $90 last, or 62.2 percent — the actual contribution as far as the dollar amount was too small to make much difference in the overall picture.

All other sectors shrank.

Revenues generated by the accommodation and food services industry, the second largest sector of the Archuleta County economy, dropped from $92,664 in December of 2011 to $85,650 in 2012, a decline of $7,014 or 7.6 percent.

Sales tax from the utility companies dropped from $50,609 in December of 2011 to $50,182 in 2012, a decline of $427 or .8 percent, while manufacturing revenues dropped from $33,577 in December of 2011 to $24,800 in 2012, a decline of $8,777 or 26.1 percent.

Revenues from the information industry dropped from $27,246 in December of 2011 to $26,258 in 2012, a decline of $988 or 3.6 percent, while wholesale trade revenues dropped from $17,814 in December of 2011 to $15,445 in 2012, a decline of $2,369 or 13.3 percent.

Construction revenues dropped from $10,163 in December of 2011 to $9,731 in 2012, a decline of $432 or 4.3 percent, while the revenues generated by the mining industry dropped from $2,933 in December of 2011 to $1,503 in 2012, a decline of $1,430 or 48.8 percent.

Arts, entertainment and recreation revenues dropped from $13,100 in December of 2011 to $10,330 in 2012, a decline of $2,770 or 21.1 percent, while sales tax revenues generated by professional, scientific and technical services dropped from $4,935 in December of 2011 to $4,078 in 2012, a decline of $857 or 17.4 percent.

Revenues generated by administration, support, waste management and remediation services dropped from $3,077 in December of 2011 to $2,572 in 2012, a decline of $505 or 16.4 percent, while the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector’s contribution dropped from $1,533 in December of 2011 to $794 in 2012, a decline of $739 or 48.2 percent.

Sales tax revenues generated by the finance and insurance industry dropped from $2,391 in December of 2011 to $1,162 in 2012, a decline of $1,229 or 51.4 percent, while revenues generated by all other services dropped from $16,918 in December of 2011 to $15,840 in 2012, a decline of $1,078 or 6.4 percent.

ed.fincher@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on February 21, 2013.