Glenwood Springs sales remained strong through November ‘18
Glenwood Springs’ retail sales continued to register in the black headed into the holiday shopping season last year, and ahead of what a growing number of national economists are predicting could be bleak times ahead.
“Most economists believe the global economy is slowing and we are due for a national downturn in the business cycle within the next year or so,” Glenwood Springs Chief Operating Officer Steve Boyd said Tuesday. “Given the high demand to live in and visit our area I would expect our economy will continue to be OK long-term.”
According to Glenwood’s most recent sales tax numbers, the city enjoyed a 5.1 percent increase in total sales tax receipts during November 2018 when compared with those from November 2017.
Collectively, in November 2018 the city raked in $1,363,593 in sales tax dollars, on roughly $36.8 million in retail sales for the month. Year to date through 11 months, the city had collected nearly $16.3 million, reflecting $440.3 million in total sales, for a 5.8 percent increase over the prior year to date.
Of the city’s 15 sales tax remittance categories, in November 2018, six saw a decrease while nine experienced a sales boost.
In November 2018, automotive/service stations remitted $185,091 worth of sales tax. This marked a 6 percent decrease when put alongside the same category’s performance in November 2017.
A similar story unfolded when looking at sales taxes collected in the transportation/utilities sector, which brought in $64,413 for November 2018, down 11.7 percent compared to November 2017.
“The automotive/service station category is a little volatile and [November 2017’s] $196,000 was well above the four-year average of $170,000, so being off some isn’t necessarily anything to worry about,” Boyd said.
While six categories were down, many of the city’s primary economic drivers, like general merchandise stores (including Walmart and Target), building materials and supplies (Lowe’s and Big John’s Hardware), and food stores (City Market, Safeway and Vitamin Cottage) experienced considerable growth.
The building materials/supplies sector alone remitted $167,160 worth of sales tax in November 2018, marking an 18.3 percent increase when put next to its November 2017 collection of $141,249. For the year, through 11 months, that sector was up 7.5 percent.
Food stores also enjoyed a dramatic 13.28 percent increase in sales tax remittance for November, and sales are up 6.6 percent for the year.
Additionally, Boyd reiterated that a number of online retailers have also voluntarily applied for a sales tax license and are beginning to remit taxes accordingly.
How much of a financial effect the government shutdown has had and will continue to take on Glenwood’s economy remains to be seen, he said.
“It’s hard to tell,” Boyd said. “The transportation category would be the most likely to have had some impact that we may see in [December’s sales tax numbers]. It may have also impacted the amount, those effected, spent during the Christmas season.”
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The city of Glenwood Springs has proposed investing $5.76 million for street improvements in the 2020 budget.