Carbondale tax figures show a ‘positive’ trend |

Carbondale tax figures show a ‘positive’ trend

John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE, Colorado – Early sales tax receipts for 2012 indicate that economic activity here is edging upward, although not yet at a pace that would signal a strong shift of fortunes.

“They’re on the upswing, a little bit,” said Nancy Barnett, finance director for the town of Carbondale, on Friday, as she analyzed income from the town’s 3.5 percent sales tax rate.

“It’s good that we’re not in the negatives any more, let alone the double negatives,” she added.

Barnett was referring the fact that sales tax revenues shrank by up to 15 percent per month in January, February and March of 2010, compared to receipts in 2009.

In January 2012, according to Barnett’s figures, sales tax revenues were up nearly 8.5 percent over January 2011.

“That’s positive,” agreed Town Manager Jay Harrington. “But when you compare that to the CPI Index (the consumer price index, which shows the rate of inflation) we’re still losing ground.”

Overall in 2011, Barnett reported, the town collected just under $3,078,000, compared to roughly $3,045,000 in 2010, for an increase of 1.11 percent for the year.

The increases in 2011, however, all resulted from strong showings in the latter part of the year, starting in September.

Earlier in 2011, sales tax collections dipped by as much as almost 9 percent in February, and generally stayed in the negative range through August.

The 2007 collections year was the last of the boom times, when the total annual sales tax income for Carbondale grew by 15 percent over 2006.

In 2008, receipts fell by a bit less than 1 percent, then plummeted by 15 percent in 2009 followed by another 5 percent drop in 2010.

Town officials are hopeful that the upward movement in late 2011 and early this year means the local economy may be recovering.

“We hope that continues throughout the year,” said Harrington, remarking about the January 2012 figures. “One month doesn’t make a trend, but it’s in the right direction.”

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