Breckenridge, Frisco and Silverthorne see uptick in sales tax revenue
August 17, 2017
Year-to-date sales tax receipts continue to show economic strength across Summit County, with Frisco and Silverthorne up about 7 percent, Breckenridge ahead more than 3 percent and Dillon down just slightly.
In Breckenridge, overall taxable sales are up 3 percent through June in a year-to-date comparison, according to the most recent figures available. This puts Breckenridge at $2.2 million over 2017 budgeted revenues and $902,000 above where the town was at this time in 2016.
"That's money in the bank," said one Breckenridge finance official, who attributed much of the growth to the real estate transfer tax coming in $1.5 million over budget.
"In June, we jumped up to 5.9 percent increase over the same month in prior years," said Brian Waldes, the town's director of finance. June's numbers stand as good news, he added, but the town will be keeping a close eye on July's and August's receipts to see if the growth holds true throughout the summer.
"The trend has returned in terms of really robust growth," Waldes said of June's numbers before expressing a bit of caution. "It looks like we're seeing that growth again, but we still have to see what summer bears out because (July and August) are the big months."
In addition to growth in the real estate market, Waldes said that strong returns in construction come as another welcome sign, because both sectors tend to drive growth in other economic arenas.
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Additionally, "because everybody is always interested in marijuana," Waldes noted the town is on pace to eclipse $10 million in sales taxes this year for cannabis products.
"It's just really hard to peg a trend on it," he said of the town's "weedtail" sector that posted record numbers in 2016 after dropping off slightly the year before. "It's not a high-dollar amount, but it's always an area of interest."
Overall, Silverthorne's year-to-date collections are up more than 6 percent, with building retail seeing the single-highest dollar increase in June. Only two sectors — automotive and the outlets — are down year to date in Silverthorne.
According to town officials, the dip in automotive is tied to declining auto repairs and one of the auto parts stores missing a few months, "which is being researched by the Colorado Department of Revenue," according to the town's latest finance report.
Meanwhile, the Outlets at Silverthorne were down $1,700 in June compared to June 2016. The outlet mall accounts for roughly one-fifth of the town's sales tax revenue, and its tax receipts are down just over $10,000 through the first six months of 2017, a paltry percentage of the roughly $1 million that's been collected so far this year.
In Frisco, the town did well in June with tax receipts coming in 10 percent above June 2016's total. That put Frisco at 7 percent ahead in a year-to-date comparison with $4.3 million collected so far in 2017.
"This is certainly on the backs of the employees and the business owners, and (town officials) see it as a testament to our business community," said Chad Most, Frisco revenue specialist. "When our business community is doing well, that impacts governmental revenue generation positively."
For Frisco, sales tax receipts from restaurants, grocery, automotive, clothing, gifts, home improvement and vacation rentals all saw enormous growth in June with each of those sectors posting double-digit percentage increases compared to June 2016.
In year-to-date comparisons, Frisco's sales tax receipts are ahead of last year's figures in almost every sector, with the exceptions of hotels, furnishings, automotive, and arts and crafts, which all saw small declines.
Most noted much of this growth is coming along Exit 203 of Intestate 70, where Frisco has become a "magnet for new businesses from out of town and from within Summit County."
"It's just a really convenient stop-off point on I-70 to do your shopping," Most said of the grocery stores, retail businesses and restaurants along Summit Boulevard.
Most also has seen rises in population and employment figures, and he said a combination of all those factors is helping drive economic growth in Frisco.
Vacation rentals saw the single-biggest month-to-month increase in Frisco, outdoing June 2016's figures by more than 66 percent this year.
After experiencing a banner May with its sales taxes jumping almost 12 percent, Dillon saw a slight decline in June, collecting $5,340 less than it did in the same month in 2016. At just over 1 percent, however, that decrease was minimal.
In a year-to-date comparison, Dillon remains about $10,000 behind last year's sales tax receipts, which isn't all that far off considering the town has collected more than $3 million so far this year.