Carbondale 2012 sales tax receipts return to the ‘plus’ column
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
CARBONDALE, Colorado – The town’s monthly sales tax receipts have been consistently higher throughout 2012 than they were in 2011, said Finance Director Nancy Barnett on Thursday.
According to Barnett, through June of this year the town was pulling in an average of 8 percent more in monthly sales tax revenues than were collected in the same period in 2011.
For example, this past June’s sales tax receipts totaled nearly $270,000, compared to $246,000 in June of last year, an increase of nearly 10 percent.
But earlier in the year, collections increased at a rate as low as 4.5 percent in March.
By August, the monthly comparison stood at $316,000 this year, compared to $306,000 in August of 2011, an increase of about 3.5 percent.
Barnett said this can be seen as an improvement over past years, particularly as the town gets set to make its fiscal plans for the coming year.
The town’s trustees began earlier this month to burrow into the annual financial deliberations with staff and department heads, prior to adopting a town budget for 2013.
Town Manager Jay Harrington has urged caution in considering the revenue numbers at this point.
Harrington and Barnett pointed out that sales tax revenues for July and August represented an increase, but a smaller increase than anticipated.
And Carbondale has yet to feel the effects of the opening of the Whole Foods grocery store at the Willits shopping center, about eight miles from Carbondale.
Sales at Whole Foods, he said, could cut into sales at Carbondale’s main sales tax generator, the City Market grocery store at the intersection of Main Street and Highway 133.
Another fiscal wild card, Harrington said, is the expected closing of at least two of Main Street’s most popular eateries, Six89 and Hestia, both of which generate considerable sales tax revenues.
“We’ll have to see how that plays out,” he said.
Harrington said compared to the economic slump in 2009 and 2010, “It’s been a good year.”
“But we’re a long way from where we were five years ago, though I don’t think anybody expects us to get back to that level in the near future,” he said.
According to the town’s budget calendar, departmental requests were submitted in early September, and the draft budget will be discussed at trustee meetings in October and November.
The 2013 budget is scheduled for adoption at a regular trustee meeting on Dec. 11.
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Roaring Fork Schools volunteers who have already completed a comparable background check through an approved entity would be good to go.