New construction drives Summit County sales tax revenues in April
In the transition to shoulder season, sales-tax revenues countywide still rose above 2015 levels. Silverthorne especially reaped the benefits of a strong construction year, with several projects down the pipeline.
Through the month of April, the town saw a modest increase in sales-tax revenues year-to-date, up two percent from last year bringing in just over $3.16 million. The town’s excise-tax collections soared, on the other hand, up 440.7 percent for the month and 259 percent year-to-date.
The town’s construction boom is focused on new residential development permits, Silverthorne revenue administrator Kathy Marshall noted.
“We’ve been going crazy,” she said. “We’ve got a lot of development going on.”
In April alone, the town saw 25 new permits, compared with six permits in 2015. Between developments at Angler Mountain Ranch, Maryland Creek Ranch and a new set of residences next to the rec center, business is booming.
“There are big pieces of equipment everywhere in the town it seems,” Marshall said.
To contrast, sales-tax collections for Silverthorne’s building retail sector decreased by seven percent for the month. The sector is Silverthorne’s second largest for sales tax, bringing in upwards of $132,000 — surpassed only by consumer retail.
“That’s probably going to change in the next few months,” Marshall said. “It’s hard to break ground when it’s frozen.”
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Breckenridge’s year-to-date sales rose significantly, up 6.7 percent at $11.897 million, despite reporting slightly fewer net taxable sales for the month.
“Since 2012, we’ve been up every year, year-over-year,” Breckenridge financial services manager Brian Waldes said. “Things have been going up so much every year — at a certain point, they can’t go up anymore.”
While 2015 saw a dramatic increase in revenues from the previous year, 2016 has been more modest. In terms of net taxable sales, the town saw a significant increase in construction, up 28.74 percent from April of 2015. Year-to-date, however, construction revenues are behind last year’s, thanks to a few record-breaking projects early in 2015.
“January of 2015 was just enormous, so that’s gonna skew our numbers,” Waldes said. “That was the largest month on record for construction.”
For April, the town also saw increases in net taxable sales for grocery, liquor and “weedtail,” a sales tax category created after the legalization of marijuana, which jumped 30 percent. However, several large categories saw decreases, including restaurants, retail and short-term lodging, which declined 16 percent. Despite the decreases, Waldes said he anticipated revenues would climb through the rest of the year.
“The big dollar months were up,” he said. “If I had to guess, I think the growth trend will continue.”
Frisco saw the largest increase, up nine percent year-to-date with total collections exceeding $2.9 million. For the month alone, the town’s collections increased 12 percent.
Significant increases included the furnishings sector, which was up 36 percent year-to-date at $85,702, and health and beauty, which was up 36 percent year-to-date.
Dillon also saw significant increases in 2016, up 8.3 percent year-to-date with total collections of $2,163,566. The town’s collections for the month of April increased by 14 percent.
The town’s finance director Carri McDonnell said retail typically is the town’s largest source of sales-tax revenue, representing about 65 percent of collections, followed by restaurants, then lodging.
“We have a lot of retail,” she said. “Some from the economy, some from new business.”
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