Frisco’s June revenues down 15 percent | SummitDaily.com
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Frisco’s June revenues down 15 percent

BOB BERWYN
summit daily news

FRISCO – This year’s June Sales tax revenue in Frisco was down about 15 percent from last year, continuing a trend that has held steady for the past six months.

The latest numbers were no big surprise to Chad Most, the town’s revenue specialist, who said he’s not looking for any growth going into the fall and into 2010.

“We keep setting records at the tunnel. There’s people around, but they aren’t spending as much,” Most said.

Most has started looking at some of the early numbers from July, and said they look a bit stronger.

The town has been pleased with turnout at special events. Officials are hopeful that the popularity of Frisco’s festivals will help build momentum for recovery.

Going into the next round of budget preparations for 2010, Most said he thinks Summit County lags about a year behind other parts of the country. He said there’s no real revenue turnaround in sight until the real estate industry recovers.

That critical component of the local economy drives so many other segments, including service retailers, Most said, using businesses like Sherwin-Williams as an example.

When the real estate and building market is thriving, it also drives revenue in the lodging and restaurant sectors, as contractors stay at local hotels and dine at local eateries while they stay in town for long-term projects.

That weakness shows in the numbers for real estate transfer tax revenues in June, down nearly 60 percent from last year.

There was a bit of a rebound in July, when the decline was only 30 percent compared to the same month in 2008.

Compared to last year’s pace, the town’s transfer tax revenues are down about 50 percent. Some of the numbers in the sector are stunning on a percentage basis.

In February, 2009, the town collected only $6.470 dollars in real estate transfer taxes, down 89 percent from $58,620 in February 2008.

The restaurant sector was one of the bright spots in the June tax revenue figures, showing only a modest 1.74 percent decline from 2008.

“The opening of Bagali’s and Vinnie’s really helped us there,” Most said.

For the year, tax revenue from the restaurant sector is down 12.8 percent.

One area that showed relative strength was the retail tourism category, where tax revenues actually climbed 21 percent from last year.

“Pioneer sports is one of the big players in that category,” Most said. Revenues from vendors at the BBQ event are also included.

Most said much of that increase can be attributed to a re-categorization of one particular business, but at least revenues in that category did not decline.

Lodging tax revenues for June were down 9.85 percent from last year and are down 20.5 percent for the year compared to 2008.


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