Glenwood Springs’ end of year sales tax revenue shows a steady and healthy increase |

Glenwood Springs’ end of year sales tax revenue shows a steady and healthy increase

People walking down Seventh Street in Glenwood Springs.
Cassandra Ballard/Post Independent

As expected with inflation, Glenwood Springs city sales tax revenue is up, according to the 2022 year-end figures recently reported by city finance officials.

“Glenwood has a strong and diverse economy that has relatively consistent increases,” Glenwood Springs Chief Operating Officer Steve Boyd said. “These numbers are in line with what we were expecting.”

Overall tax revenue for the end of 2022 increased by 10.31% from 2021 revenue. Though 2020 saw a small dip during the COVID-19 pandemic, sales tax revenue spiked back up in 2021. 

Sales Tax Revenue in Glenwood Springs by year

2018 — $18,353,353

2019 — $19,150,886

2020 — $18,253,907

2021 — $22,688,168

2022 — $25,027,578

The one place that did see a decrease in revenue is the marijuana tax revenue.

Marijuana tax revenue had a 7.11% decrease from 2021 at $308,350 to 2022 at $286,435.

“Increased competition throughout the state and legalization in others could account for a decrease in both sales volume per store and prices,” Boyd said. “Overall, Colorado sales are down close to 25%, so we’ve held up better than a lot of other communities.”

Revenue from the accommodations tax also had a slight decrease in December 2022 from December 2021, but overall revenue throughout the year increased. 

Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association Director of Tourism Lisa Langer said that Glenwood Springs is still running close to 70% occupancy, where it used to average closer to 60%-62% occupancy. 

A January 2020 report from the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association reported 52%-54% occupancy for Glenwood Springs, but there is no information for what lodging businesses in Glenwood chose to report their numbers to the Association. 

“2021 was a banner year for mountain communities due to the pandemic,” Langer said. “2022 offered more travel freedom and greater options for traveling outside the state and overseas.” 

Other communities in the Roaring Fork Valley are reporting lower than expected reservations for this summer with a high average daily rate, but they haven’t heard of any stalling in reservations in Glenwood Springs, she said. 

“We may see a drop in accommodation tax revenues due to several of our properties changing to affordable housing,” she said. “However, our ADR (average daily rate) remains high, so that may also offset that. We will have to see how it all shakes out.”

Food stores, food/drinking places, hotel/motel and building materials all bring in a good portion of revenue for the city and each industry had an increase in revenue at about 10%.

General merchandise had an increase 5.93% from a revenue of $3.4 million in 2021 to $3.6 in 2022. 

Eating/drinking places revenue in 2021 was $2.9 million and increased 10.59% to $3.1 million in 2022. 

“Our internal forecast for (food stores and food/drinking places) was 10% on both and we came in at 10.3%,” Boyd said. “It is actually very close to what we forecasted.”

The city collects 3.7% on sales and use transactions. That money is divided into five funds: 1.5% to the general fund, 1% to the acquisition and improvements fund, 0.5% to the capital projects fund, 0.5% to the streets tax fund and 0.2% to the bus tax fund, Boyd said.

City staff use sales tax collection data from the current year to forecast the next year’s earnings, which is used to determine the Glenwood Springs’ annual budget.

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