2022 sales tax revenues in Glenwood Springs on track to set new baseline

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After rebounding from the pandemic in 2021, Glenwood Springs is still showing growth in sales tax revenue.

“I would say that 2022 is likely to establish a new base,” said Steve Boyd, acting city manager. “Through June and up to date, we’re up something like 7% against 2021 sales tax across the whole city.”

Revenue is up and not too surprising for city officials. 

“We always forecast a little bit below what we really think is going to happen, so the 7% growth is a little bit higher than we forecast, and it hasn’t surprised us.” Boyd said. “I don’t know if the second half will grow quite as much as the first half did, just based on some macro economic factors that we’re seeing.”

Boyd said that the forecast for 2022 is $21.6 million across all funds.  

“I think we’ll beat 2021 by about 5% at the end of the year,” Boyd said. 

Yet the accommodations tax, which was up more than 30% for the first two months of the year, dropped to 6% in April and 5% in May. 

“We’re up … 21% through May. We don’t have a good June number yet, but it probably won’t be quite as strong as 21%,” Boyd said about the accommodations tax. 

Marijuana sales tax revenue is one of the few categories to see a decline from 2021 so far this year, but Boyd said marijuana has been down in general.

“I mean, I think for the last year, it’s been pretty consistently down, and I don’t know exactly the reason for that,” he said.

The hotel and the motel category of sales taxes has also been doing pretty well, gaining more than 18% so far since 2021, yet hotels have not necessarily been busier than last year. 

“I think that’s mostly inflation and room rates. I don’t know that occupancy is necessarily up this year,” Boyd said.

Although rates have gone up significantly throughout the state since 2021, Glenwood Springs, Estes Park and Grand Junction have seen decreases in occupancy since last year, according to the 2022 June edition of the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report. 

“The 2022 average year-to-date occupancy in Glenwood Springs has decreased by a percentage point over 2021, but the average daily rate has increased by more than $22 during the same period,” said Lisa Langer, director of tourism in Glenwood Springs.

With the cost of building materials going up with inflation, sales tax for building materials is a larger category that has shown a good amount of growth in 2022. 

“Well, we had a good year in 2021. We’re measuring 2022 against what was a really strong year, so from a percentage perspective, it doesn’t seem that high, but that category has been performing well,” Boyd said about the building materials category. 

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