Silverthorne sales tax strong despite soft April
June 18, 2013
In April, the town of Silverthorne sales tax collections slipped for the first time in 2013, but town officials think they are on pace to reach 2008 revenue levels.
Last week Donna Braun, Silverthorne's finance director, and Kathy Marshall, Silverthorne revenue administrator, said although April sale tax revenue was down 8.25 percent, or $52,151, when compared to a year ago, first quarter sales tax collections exceeded budgeted projections, putting the town ahead by 6.4 percent overall.
Through April, Silverthorne collected $2,722,621 in sales taxes, up from $2,558,797, or $163,824, compared to April 2012.
Braun credited a number of factors for the town's positive financial status, including building retail sales tax earnings, which increased by almost 80 percent compared to April 2012. The surge not only is reflective of a rebounding construction economy, Braun said, but also can be attributed to the recent opening of a Lowe's home improvement store in town.
“We’re a little different than most mountain economies in the sense that we’re tied more to shopping than a community like Breckenridge, which is more heavily dependent on lodging. Because the snow was so bad early in the year, tourists went shopping instead of skiing, which worked for us.”
Finance director for the Town of Silverthorne, on sales tax revenue trending ahead of 2012.
"Building permits are up and construction seems to be back on the rise," Braun said. "I've heard people say they have more business now than in three or four years and that they're struggling to keep up. We also had a Lowe's open in Aug. 2012, so we're seeing the benefits from that too."
Despite the sharp increase in building retail sales tax revenue — in addition to spikes in services and lodging sales tax of more than 176 and 40 percent, respectively — by far Silverthorne's largest sales tax contributor are the shops at the outlet mall.
The Outlets at Silverthorne accounted in April for more than 25 percent of all sales tax revenue collected by the town, even with a 40 percent, or $101,214, drop compared to 2012.
However, soft April sales tax earnings at the outlets doesn't tell the full story, Braun said, as year to date revenue collected there represents more than 30 percent of all sales tax revenue collected this year.
Revenues at the outlets were, "pretty representative of how the season went," Braun said. "We're a little different than most mountain economies in the sense that we're tied more to shopping than a community like Breckenridge, which is more heavily dependent on lodging.
"Because the snow was so bad early in the year, tourists went shopping instead of skiing, which worked for us."
If sales tax trends continue Braun estimates the town will come close to collecting about $8.4 million in revenue, which would be on par with 2008 figures and about $300,000 less than 2007 highs.
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