Sales tax revenues growing slowly in New Castle
Post Independent Staff
NEW CASTLE — Revenues from sales taxes are continuing to rebound slowly, and the town still has a ways to go before it gets back to the peak reached in 2008, before the recession pulled the rug out from under the local economy.
According to the town’s 2013 budget, available on the town website, New Castle is hoping to pull in approximately $2.8 million in total revenues, of which approximately $1 million is projected to be from sales tax receipts.
Although the town collects property tax revenues as well, those revenues have been declining in recent years, in a delayed reaction to the downward trend of home prices that began in 2008.
For 2013, the town anticipates collecting more than $371,000 in property tax revenues. According to figures provided by Finance Director Lyle Layton, property tax revenues had been on a general slide for the previous three years, starting at $542,000 in 2010.
Sales tax revenues, however, have been climbing slowly since 2010, with revenues of $991,000 that year, followed by just over $1 million in 2011 (at $1.03 million) and 2012 (at $1.05 million).
By the end of this year, Layton said, sales tax receipts are expected to top $1 million again at $1.08 million.
This year’s monthly revenue track, according to the budget, has shown increases every month in 2013 over that same month in 2012, with the exception of April, when collections fell by 5 percent compared to April 2012, and February, when sales tax revenues were flat compared to the year before.
For the year, according to Layton, sales tax receipts are 3.75 percent ahead of collections at the same time in 2012, and are more than 10 percent ahead of collections in 2010.
The town does levy a use tax, which generally covers construction materials bought outside the town’s boundaries.
For this year, Layton said, use tax revenues are projected to increase to about $5,000, up from $4,500 in use tax collections in 2012.
The town budget indicates that use tax collections peaked in 2010, at more than $20,000 for the year. The continual decrease then is largely understood to be due to the fact that local construction activity is only slowly regaining steam as the economy pulls out of the recession.
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