Dillons sales-tax revenues dip, but dont tank
DILLON Dillons residents wont see an impact to town services in 2009, but projections for 2010 are hazy the town sustained a 10-percent decline in sales-tax collection for the first quarter of 2009. Its better than I thought, but still down significantly, said Carri McDonnell, Dillons treasurer, noting a consistent local revenue base, but lower tourist spending. Its a steep decline, but still not as bad as other towns in the county that sustained a 15- to 20-percent loss.If the towns sales-tax collection is down 10 percent for the rest of the year, Dillon will be down $470,000, McDonnell said. A 15-percent drop for the rest of the year would equate to a $705,000 dip.
Town staff noted its local-centered businesses and new restaurants Qdoba and SmashBurger as reasons for its higher sales-tax numbers in comparison to other towns.We do have a fairly strong local tax base larger businesses that locals frequent thats more stable, McDonnell said. We hope the economy turns around, but we are prepared in 2009 if the trend continues.The town staff said theyre watching revenue collections very closely. Were monitoring spending on a daily basis and saving whenever possible, McDonnell said. Weve already come up with $45,000 of savings, and its only in the first quarter.By flagging town projects that can be delayed and combining those with town savings, the town earmarked up to $681,000 an amount that could potentially cover town costs if sales-tax collection drops further, McDonnell added.As Councilman Don Parsons pointed out at a recent town work session, Dillon hasnt taken future sales-tax revenue from the new Walgreens into account. The new pharmacy is projected to open in June.Devin Granbery, Dillons town manager, agreed: We do not budget for funds until we have them.According to McDonnell, if the economy doesnt turn around in 2010, the town may see some impacts to services, but staff wont know the implications until they budget for 2010 in the fall. All staff can do is rein in its expenditures.Weve prepared for up to a 15-percent decline for sales tax in 2009, McDonnell said. Time will tell. Its just a waiting game now.
Though Dillon usually shies away from funding programs outside of its grant cycle, the town has tentatively agreed to three funding for the Rotarys free Tuesday dinners, the turf field and the Lake Dillon Foundation. Dillons staff is preparing for a budget amendment at the June 16 town meeting to approve the out-of-cycle funding.We have an obligation to help our community when its down, said Councilman Ron Holland at a recent town work session.According to Granbery, since towns usually prefer to give grants in their regular cycle, Dillon may look into creating a small discretionary fund for programs that need emergency funding outside of the application cycle.We understand reality, Granbery said, noting that in a down economy, the need for emergency funding increases.
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