April sales up slightly in Glenwood Springs
Glenwood Springs saw a significant drop during April in the city’s most lucrative source of sales tax dollars — general merchandise stores.
Since 2014, in the month of April alone, general merchandise stores — which includes the large national retail stores — in Glenwood Springs have earned the city $1,038,673 in sales tax.
However, compared to April 2017, this April the city collected $40,165 less in sales tax from general merchandise stores, for a 17.10 percent decrease.
Glenwood Springs’ Chief Operating Officer Steve Boyd said that drop was anticipated.
“The general merchandise category is down largely because JC Penney had their going out of business sale last year in April — so not only do we not have their regular sales in 2018, the extra revenue that resulted from that sale was included in the 2017 number we are comparing against,” Boyd explained.
The city also suffered from sales tax losses in categories like furniture/home furnishings and personal services when put side by side with last year’s April numbers. These areas pale in comparison, financially speaking, with other categories such as general merchandise stores, though.
“Furniture/Home furnishings is a relatively small overall category, but one that has some high-priced items, so the percentage change in any particular month against last year’s can appear large,” Boyd said.
For example, although furniture/home furnishings saw a 17.48 percent decrease that translated to a $4,050 decline, and while personal services felt a 30.95 percent decrease (the largest of any category — decrease or increase) it still equated to a loss of only $508.
Glenwood did considerably benefit from the miscellaneous retail as well as the building materials and supplies sectors.
Miscellaneous retail, which covers such things as gift shops, book stores, liquor stores, jewelry stores and flower shops, saw a 12.73 percent increase, or $13,270 in sales tax collected.
Building materials and supplies, which includes Lowe’s and Big John’s Ace Hardware, enjoyed an 8.03 percent increase, raking in $13,120 for the city.
“I feel pretty good about the results. We had what I think is the biggest April ever, and we had to absorb the Penny’s closure to get there,” Boyd said. “The numbers we’ve seen for May so far also look good; I believe we’ll be up significantly from last May.”
May numbers will not be reported until the middle of July.
In all categories combined, during the month of April compared to April 2017, Glenwood Springs saw a 0.29 percent increase in sales tax collected.
The $5.2 million in sales taxes collected year to date through four months reflects roughly $140 million in retail spending, based on the city’s 3.7 percent sales tax rate.
The city’s special accommodations tax, levied on overnight hotel/motel stays and other lodging, was up 1.2 percent in April and year to date is running 4.9 percent ahead of 2017.