Western Garfield tax receipts outpace Glenwood
Western Garfield County has outperformed Glenwood Springs and Carbondale in sales tax revenue growth so far this year.
With county unemployment at just 2.4 percent, according to the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, the tax receipts may reflect that western Garfield workers have money in their pockets and are choosing to shop closer to home as Glenwood Springs endures the second year of the Grand Avenue bridge replacement project.
Around the county, while Glenwood tax receipts have been flat, Rifle has seen a year of strong growth, and Parachute’s numbers are burning up because of its embrace of recreational marijuana sales.
Colorado municipalities are heavily dependent on sales tax revenue, so here’s a look at how things are going:
Glenwood, whose numbers are available only through July, has seen a 0.76 percent increase in sales tax revenue. That’s the least sales tax revenue growth of any municipality in the county.
June in Glenwood Springs especially hurt that number. In 2016, June was Glenwood’s biggest month of the summer at nearly $1.8 million in collections, but June 2017 saw a 4 percent decrease. Most other months in Glenwood have seen modest growth, the best having been March at 4 percent growth.
Last year Glenwood Springs pulled in more than $17.5 million in sales tax revenue. January through July this year the city has collected $9.8 million. The old Grand Avenue bridge closed Aug. 14, creating a slow, snaking detour through town that many merchants have said has also slowed their business.
December has historically been Glenwood’s biggest month, with the summer months behind that.
The new Grand Avenue bridge is to open in mid-November, creating hope for a rebound.
The city expects that next week the sales tax numbers will be available for August, which will show the impact of the Grand Avenue Bridge closure that went into effect Aug. 14.
The most recent revenue numbers for Rifle also go only through July. Rifle’s sales tax revenue from January through July grew by nearly 6.3 percent compared with 2016. January was the city’s biggest increase, at 14.7 percent growth. May and June were also solid increases, at just over 9 percent increases each.
June brought in the most revenue, at more than $842,000.
And Parachute, after a spree of marijuana business openings in town, has increased its sales tax revenue by about 50 percent.
In August, the town of about 1,200 people approved its seventh recreational marijuana shop. And from January through August, the town had already nearly matched what it collected in all of 2016.
In all of 2016, the town collected a little more than $1.05 million. But by the end of August this year, Parachute collected nearly $950,000.
The month with the biggest increase was June, at a 77 percent increase over last year. And the biggest earner so far was August, at about $144,000.
The town embraced recreational marijuana sales to offset a huge revenue loss from the current slump in natural gas prices and development in the Piceance Basin.
New Castle saw a 4.5 percent increase from January through August. The biggest increase for New Castle was June, which saw a 10 percent increase over the same month in 2016. But the biggest earner was in August, coming to nearly $160,000.
Last year’s total sales tax revenue for New Castle was more than $1.2 million. Through August this year the town has seen about $881,000.
Silt, from January through September, has seen a 6.8 percent increase in sales tax revenue. Though the town’s sales tax was in the negative January through March, it saw a nice turnaround coming into the warmer months, topping out at increases of 13 percent in July and 18 percent in August. At nearly $70,000 in sales tax revenue, August has been the town’s biggest month yet.
Last year Silt collected nearly $665,000 total in sales tax revenue. And so far the town has made about $526,000 this year.
Carbondale through August saw a year-over-year increase of 3.4 percent in sales tax revenue.
The town’s biggest earning month so far was January, which has historically been true, at about $442,000 in sales tax revenue. But that was also about a 2 percent decrease from last year.
Last year the town collected a total of just over $4 million. And so far Carbondale has seen about $2.7 million in sales tax revenue.