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More revenue means more responsibility

Sales tax revenues are the vitamins that keep municipalities healthy.With the recently released sales tax revenue numbers, it’s obvious that things are looking good for Glenwood Springs.In November, the anticipated jump in revenues hit thanks mostly to the opening of Glenwood Meadows. But even so, the jump was dramatic. Thirty-three percent over November 2004. Marianne Virgili, of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, may have put it best – “Wow!”This is great news considering the lean past few years.Thanks in part to factors like Sept. 11, the Coal Seam Fire in June 2002, and the opening of Rifle’s Wal-Mart Supercenter, Glenwood’s sales tax revenue numbers had gone down every year since 2001.Overall, Glenwood saw a 9 percent increase over the first 11 months of 2005. With any set of numbers, it can be deceiving and revealing. It’s obvious that the region is growing, and that was reflected in a 30 percent increase in building materials sales in 2005.More people will mean more sales tax revenue. Higher sales tax revenue will be required to meet the demands of a higher population.The sales tax numbers are indeed good news for Glenwood. With a variety of needs, including a seemingly never-ending traffic problem, more tax revenue is needed.With the 33 percent jolt in November, the news is good, but people shouldn’t forget that some downtown Glenwood businesses may suffer. That’s why it’s important that the city continues to promote downtown and make it easy for shoppers and tourists to make their way to those downtown businesses.With the opening of Meadows, Glenwood suddenly became more of a shopping destination. With that came the anticipated and needed sales tax boost. The city must now look at how best to use those increased revenues.More people will come to Glenwood, more people are moving to the region, and Glenwood will benefit from the extra sales tax. But with more people and more growth comes a much larger responsibility to best utilize the sales tax funds. More sales tax revenue is great but it certainly comes with more responsibility and, arguably, a higher price, too.


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