Dillon sales and lodging tax collections jump in 2006
DILLON – The Town of Dillon’s sales tax collections jumped 14 percent in 2006, marking the first time the town has seen any significant growth in four years. The town collected $3,777,991 in 2006 compared with $3,310,840 in 2005, according to numbers released last week by the town.”I think we’re seeing some new businesses in town, some growth in our existing businesses, more visitors, people spending more money in town,” town treasurer Carri McDonnell said.A handful of new businesses opened in town last year, including Wilderness Sports, Red Mountain Grill and J. Henry’s, which all helped to boost the town’s bottom line. Also, the town enjoys a strong local tax base from the Dillon Ridge Shopping Center, McDonnell said. Dillon Ridge, which includes City Market, Sports Authority and several smaller stores, opened in 1998. The growth spurred by the center lasted several years as subsequent businesses like Border’s and Blockbuster Video opened their doors, McDonnell said.Sales tax income grew by 6 percent from 2001 to 2002, before virtually flattening out for the next three years. During that period, fewer tourists were coming to town, which meant fewer dollars filtered into the local economy, McDonnell said. Also, the town wasn’t seeing many new businesses coming to town in those years, she added.Despite the growth in sales tax last year, the town has budgeted for just a 4-percent increase in sales tax in 2007, which is a fairly conservative estimate considering the opening of the Vitamin Cottage natural grocery store in town last month, McDonnell said.The town’s lodging tax also soared 16.42 percent from 2005 to 2006, another sign of a healthier economy. All businesses in Dillon providing short-term lodging pay a 2-percent lodging tax, which contributes 1 percent to the town’s overall annual revenue.In 2006, the town collected $120,998 in lodging tax, compared with $103,929 the year before. This was the second year of growth in the lodging tax fund after three years on the decline. The fund grew by 7 percent in 2005 after falling by almost 3 percent in 2004; 11.35 percent in 2003; and 9.3 percent in 2002.Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-4629, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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