Strong September for retail sales in Glenwood Springs |

Strong September for retail sales in Glenwood Springs

Strong retail sales in Glenwood Springs during September and a correction to the August numbers have put the city back on pace to exceed 2015 projections.

According to the city’s September sales tax report, retail activity increased 4.4 percent compared with the same month last year.

A total of about $1.5 million in taxes was collected for September on roughly $41.7 million in retail sales, based on Glenwood’s 3.7 percent city sales tax rate.

Meanwhile, additional receipts were posted for August after month’s end, according to Glenwood Finance Director Charles Kelty.

That resulted in a correction to a 4 percent increase for that month as well, instead of the initial August sales tax report showing only a 0.15 percent increase, Kelty said.

Some observers had chalked the apparent slowdown in sales for August to the fact that the busy Labor Day weekend was later this year.

Indeed, a significantly smaller August increase for the city’s special accommodations, or bed tax, that is assessed on overnight stays would support that theory.

The lodging tax increased just 1.9 percent in August, but for September was up almost 16 percent, and for the year to date remains more than 10.5 percent ahead of 2014.

With the sales tax correction, the year-to-date increase in retail sales is 7.7 percent over the same nine-month period in 2014, according to the latest report.

That remains well above the 5 percent increase projected this year for city budget purposes.

Through nine months, the city has collected $12.3 million in taxes on about $333 million in retail sales for the year headed into the fall months and holiday shopping season.

A breakdown of sales in different sectors for the year so far shows that general merchandise sales are up 1.9 percent; miscellaneous retail up 2.2 percent; food stores up 5.3 percent; apparel and accessories up 4.8 percent; restaurants and bars up 10.4 percent; building materials and supplies up 12.6 percent; and automobile sales and servicing, up 16.6 percent.

One category that is so far down for the year through nine months was furniture and home furnishings, sales of which were running 4.3 percent behind last year.

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