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Sales tax loses wind in June

Greg Masse

After an encouraging two months of modest sales tax revenue increases in April and May, Glenwood Springs tax revenues plummeted in June by more than 10 percent compared to June 2001.

The Coal Seam Fire received much, if not all, of the blame for the 10.9 percent plunge.

“We not only were closed down in the week of the fire,” city manager Mike Copp said, but in the weeks after, many tourists who normally would head to Glenwood Springs for their summer vacation never showed up.

“We believe the fire had a lot to do with it,” he said.

Revised figures from the city’s finance department showed that April sales tax revenues were up 0.33 percent from April 2001 and May’s revenues were up 0.62 percent from May 2001.

Another telling sign that the revenue drop was fire-related was a sharp decline in accommodation tax numbers.

Through May 2002, lodging tax revenues were up a strong 7 percent compared to the same period last year. But in June, revenues dove 13.8 percent compared to June 2001.

Year to date through June, city sales tax revenues are 2.6 percent below revenues earned in 2001 for the same period.

But Copp was optimistic that July and August tourism numbers will show brisk sales.

“From what we’ve heard from merchants, July and August have done well,” he said. “We think we’ll be able to get pretty close to even by December.”

No cuts in city services or personnel are planned, but on the other hand, no radical spending is planned, either, he said.

“We’re going to be budgeting at zero levels,” Copp said.


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