Eating, drinking closing in on Glenwood big-box shopping as top sales tax generator |

Eating, drinking closing in on Glenwood big-box shopping as top sales tax generator

A view across the corner of lower downtown Glenwood Springs' "restaurant row." Residents and tourists alike can expect mainly sunny skies this weekend in Glenwood Springs
Chelsea Self/Post Independent

Restaurants and bars in Glenwood Springs are on the verge of overtaking the retail category that includes big-box stores as the biggest sales tax generator in the city.

According to the city’s October 2019 sales tax report released last week, the Eating/Drinking Places category was running just $72,665 behind General Merchandise Stores through 10 months of the year in terms of sales taxes.

Both categories typically generate over $2.5 million in sales taxes for the city each year. That represents about $70 million each in overall sales activity, based on Glenwood’s sales tax rate of 3.7%. 

The busy holiday stretch from Thanksgiving through December has yet to be reflected. However, it is usually big for both sectors between Christmas shopping and holiday parties.

Glenwood Sales By the Numbers

$2,310,845 — Amount of 2019 city sales taxes collected from general merchandise stores — including national retailers Target and Walmart — through October.

$2,238,180 — Amount of 2019 city sales taxes collected from restaurant and bar sales through October.

-1.32% — Year-over-year drop in sales through October for businesses that fall into the city’s Miscellaneous Retail category, including many of the independently owned downtown shops, plus liquor stores, flower shops and jewelry stores.

+9.68% — Year-over-year increase in Building Materials and Supplies sales through October, bringing in over $1.8 million in sales taxes on roughly $50.5 million in total sales through 10 months of the year.

+5.5% — Year-over-year increase from 2018 to 2019 in total sales taxes collected through 10 months.

Source: City of Glenwood Springs October sales tax report

General Merchandise sales are actually down slightly for the year to date through 10 months at -0.12%, while restaurants and bars were up nearly 2.3% through October.

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Building Materials and Supplies comes in as the third-largest retail sector, at $1.86 million in sales taxes on about $50.5 million in sales through 10 months. That’s 9.68% higher than for the same period last year.

Overall, sales of retail goods and taxable services were up through October about 5.1% over last year. The period saw $15.7 million in tax collections on roughly $424.5 million in total sales, according to the October figures.

The city’s separate accommodations tax, assessed on overnight lodging stays, is also running about 4.6% ahead of last year through 10 months.

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