January sales tax revenues show mixed results across Summit County towns
Sales tax revenue to start off the year showed varied results, with Breckenridge, Dillon and Summit County down in January compared with last year, while Silverthorne and Frisco are up. Since Summit County was operating in a business-as-usual mentality before the pandemic hit last March, sales tax reports will provide insight into the county’s economic recovery as 2021 progresses.
Breckenridge’s January sales tax revenues took a 7% dip this year compared with January 2020. However, the town fared better in January than December, which showed year-over-year decline of 11%. This change can be attributed in part to Summit County businesses being placed under level red restrictions for the entirety of December, as the county didn’t move into the less restrictive level orange until the beginning of January.
Of the town’s six business categories, only the marijuana and grocery/liquor categories showed growth over the prior year. Categories that showed decline were restaurants and bars, down 29%; construction, down 10%; and retail and short-term lodging, both down 2%.
Overall, Breckenridge took the biggest hit in comparison to other Summit County towns in 2020, finishing the year with net taxable sales about 7% behind 2019. Dillon, Silverthorne and Frisco reported slightly higher total sales tax revenue in 2020 compared with 2019. This trend has continued into January. While Breckenridge’s sales tax is behind prior year revenues, according to the financial report in the town’s March 23 work session agenda packet, revenues are ahead of the town’s budget projections.
Frisco’s sales tax revenue increased by 9.5% from January 2020 to January 2021. The increase in revenue amounted to over $88,000. Of the town’s 17 business categories, 10 showed an increase in revenue. The grocery category increased by 80% in January, gifts increased by 45% and recreation increased by 41%. Categories that continue to be down include restaurants, down 14% in January; hotels and inns, down 54%; and vacation rentals, down 14%.
Silverthorne, which has fared better than other towns when it comes to sales tax revenue throughout the pandemic, was up 11% year over year in January. Of the town’s eight business categories, six were up for sales tax revenue, including consumer retail, food and liquor, lodging and services.
The Outlets at Silverthorne continue to show a decline in year-over-year sales tax revenue, down 18% in January, while online retail continues to soar, up 91%. The town has attributed the continued increase in online-retail sales tax revenue to the Wayfair Supreme Court decision, which allows the town to charge sales tax on products delivered to Silverthorne even if the business is out of state.
In Dillon, January sales tax revenue was down 2% compared with the prior year. The town’s sales tax revenue has fluctuated greatly throughout the pandemic, ranging from a 27% decrease in year-over-year sales taxes in March 2020 to a 17% increase in October 2020.
Summit County’s sales tax revenue, which includes receipts from the Department of Motor Vehicles, was down about 9% in January 2021 compared with January 2020. The difference in sales tax revenue amounts to over $91,000 for the county.
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