City retail sales better than first thought |

City retail sales better than first thought

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ­ — Retail sales in the city were up 1.3 percent for October, and in a nice surprise after all the third-quarter numbers were reported were also on the plus side for September, according to the city of Glenwood Springs’ latest sales tax report.

The initial sales tax report for September, which was sent out the first week of November, indicated a slight drop of 0.32 percent in sales activity for the month compared to September 2012.

With the updated report released by city Finance Director Mike Harman last week, September actually showed a 2.2 percent increase over the same month last year.

Harman said there can sometimes be a lag in reporting from retailers at the end of each quarter, which was the case for September. For that reason, there’s often an adjustment in the final number, he said.

But a more than 2 percent swing to the positive for September and another good month for sales in October helped move the city closer to its budgetary projection for the year as far as sales taxes are concerned.

Through 10 months, sales taxes were running 1.77 percent ahead of the same period last year, at about $11.7 million. The city based its 2013 budget on a projected 2 percent increase in sales taxes for the year.

The city of Glenwood Springs collected a total of just over $14 million in sales taxes in 2012. That translates to about $378 million in total retail sales for the year, based on the city’s sales tax rate of 3.7 percent.

So far this year, sales in the largest single retail category, general merchandise, are down about 2.4 percent compared to 2012. Sales of building materials and supplies are up by 7.8 percent.

Also up through 10 months are food store sales (1.6 percent), restaurants and bars (2.9 percent), automotive/service stations (5.9 percent), apparel/accessories (3.4 percent) and miscellaneous retail (1.9 percent).

The city of Glenwood Springs’ 2.5 percent accommodations tax charged on overnight stays at hotels, motels and other lodges is also on track for a more than 4 percent increase over 2012. Taxes collected on October stays were up nearly 8.7 percent compared to the same month last year, according to the latest city sales tax report.

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