Sales up 5 percent in June in Basalt |

Sales up 5 percent in June in Basalt

Basalt’s battered business community got better news in June when retail sales climbed 5 percent compared to the same month the year before, according to a report by the town finance department.

The town collected $273,300 in sales tax in June. That exceeded both the $260,088 collected in June 2010 and the amount collected for the month the prior year.

This year’s revenue was still well below pre-recession levels. The town collected $319,422 in sales tax revenues in June 2008 – or about 14 percent more than this year.

Town manager Bill Kane was upbeat about June’s figures in a report Tuesday night to the Town Council.

“This is good news,” Kane said. “Now we’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel rather than the tunnel at the end of the light.”

A highlight of the June report, he said, is that general retail businesses saw sales jump 11.5 percent for the month. Many of the small shops that give Basalt its character are in the category.

Sales by retail food outlets – which include City Market and Clark’s Market – were flat compared to June 2010. They are the biggest contributor to Basalt’s sales tax revenues. Liquor store sales were also flat with an increase of only 1.5 percent.

Restaurants with bars saw sales soar 9 percent in June. Sporting goods retailers registered a 2.3 percent increase. Even providers of building materials showed a solid gain at 8 percent. Those businesses have seen sales sag since the recession hit in late 2008.

For the town’s fiscal year to date, December through June, sales tax revenues are down 1.26 percent. The town collected $1,783,407 in sales tax revenues over that period compared to $1,806,116 over the same period last year.

In fiscal year 2008, prior to the when the recession hit with full force, Basalt collected $2,149,587 in sales tax revenues over the same period – or 17 percent more than this year.

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