BASALT - Sales tax revenues soared almost 17 percent in September compared with the same month the prior year, thanks in large part to the opening of Whole Foods Market.
September was the first full month that Whole Foods Market Roaring Fork was open. Revenues in the retail food category, which includes all grocery stores, jumped 37 percent for the month compared with last year, according to a sales tax report by Basalt Finance Officer Judi Tippetts.
Retail food outlets - including Whole Foods, City Market and Clark's Market - collected $158,121 in sales taxes in September. That dwarfed collections for September going back to pre-recession days. In September 2008, sales tax revenues from retail food outlets was $117,104.
Overall, sales tax revenues for September were $345,782 compared with $296,130 in 2011.
For the town's fiscal year to date, which started in December, the town's sales tax revenues are up 6.3 percent. That is not a reflection on the performance of individual businesses. They might be faring better or worse than the town's business community as a whole.
Sales tax revenues year-to-date are $2.88 million compared with $2.71 million at the same point the year before.
In the retail food category, year-to-date sales tax collections are up 7.8 percent. The category has contributed $1.23 million to town coffers so far compared with $1.14 million the year before. That is the highest amount for a year-to-date total for retail food sales since at least 2008, the earliest year covered by the report.
Retail food isn't the only category that has experienced an increase this year. Sales by restaurants with bars were up 8.4 percent through September. Sales by stores in the general retail category were up a robust 16.5 percent. Stores that sell sporting goods showed an increase of 9.4 percent.
The town's latest sales tax report reflects revenue collected in October for business transactions in September.