March sees drop in skiers, sales tax |

March sees drop in skiers, sales tax

Lynn BurtonPost Independent Staff

Accommodation tax collections, which reflect in large part the skier numbers at Sunlight Mountain Resort, fell 22 percent in March compared to the same month last year.For the quarter, sales tax collections in the eating/drinking category for January through March fell 4.8 percent compared to 2002. Glenwood Springs finance director Mike Harman linked the declining tax collections in the accommodation category and eating/drinking category.”If tourists aren’t staying here, the associated sales taxes are down,” Harman said.From January through March, five of 11 sales tax categories increased compared to 2002. They are:-Building materials/supplies: up 6.3 percent-Food stores: up 2.8 percent-Automotive/service stations: up 4.5 percent.-Apparel/accessories: up 1.5 percent-Miscellaneous retail: up 32 percent.Categories that were down compared to 2002 are:-Transportation/utilities: down 5.8 percent-General merchandise stores: down 1.6 percent-Furniture/home furnishings: down 13 percent.-Eating/drinking: down 4.8 percent.-Motel/hotel: down 10 percent.-All other: down 11.95 percent.Harman said it’s difficult to say why the miscellaneous retail category increased 32 percent, because it is comprised of sales that don’t fit into other categories. “It’s a hodge-podge,” Harman said.General merchandise includes retailers Wal-Mart and Kmart, Harman said, so increases and decreases in that category are easier to analyze.For March, Glenwood’s 3.45 percent sales tax raised $828,000, compared to $852,000 in 2002, for a 2.8 percent decrease. Year to date, Glenwood Springs sales tax collections areup 1.1 percent from last year, at $2.25 million in 2003 compared to $2.22 million in 2002.March’s monthly sales tax decline was the first this year. Sales tax collections were up 5.3 percent in January and 3.5 percent in February.Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext.

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