Marijuana soaring, restaurants struggling in most recent sales tax reports |

Marijuana soaring, restaurants struggling in most recent sales tax reports

Collections in most towns show increases from February 2020, before the pandemic began

Cole Stanfill, left, a supervisor at Altitude Organic Cannabis in Dillon, shows Sam Woerter of Florida cannabis products Feb. 16. Marijuana sales continue to be strong performers in local sales tax reports.
Photo by Jason Connolly / Jason Connolly Photography

Breckenridge continues to struggle to meet its pre-pandemic sales tax collections, but Summit County’s three other towns were up year-over-year in February.

Two months into the year, Breckenridge’s net taxable sales are 5.04% behind 2020, when the pandemic had not yet begun, according to a financial report in the town’s April 27 work session agenda packet. The town made up some ground in February after net taxable sales were down 7.26% in January compared with the same month last year.

Of the eight industries reported, marijuana sales showed the most growth at 14.53%. Marijuana sales also experienced the highest growth of any category in 2020. Aside from the “other” category, which comprises sales that have yet to be classified, most other industries saw modest growth or declines. The restaurants and bars category was a noticeable outlier, down 26.29% as a result of pandemic-related restrictions. While many people skipped going out and ate at home instead, grocery and liquor sales were up 4.45%.

The towns of Frisco, Silverthorne and Dillon, which are less reliant on tourism than Breckenridge — fared better in February.

Silverthorne, which has outperformed its neighboring towns since the beginning of the pandemic, is showing the most impressive numbers. Compared to February 2020, Silverthorne’s sales tax collections are up 21.95%. Year-to-date, that puts Silverthorne ahead of last year by 16.29%.

The biggest swing among collection categories was the outlets with a year-over-year increase of 36.64%. Aside from the services category, which was down 44.59%, all other business categories saw big positive swings of 10% to 55%. Even lodging was up 17.25% compared with pre-pandemic levels.

Though some of its industries didn’t perform as well, Frisco is also seeing strong sales tax growth to start the year, up nearly 8% compared with February 2020.

Business categories with the biggest year-over-year jump in collections include office at 92.5%, marijuana at 60%, arts and crafts at 55.8%, liquor at 53.8%, and health and beauty at 42.8%. The only categories that saw a decline were clothing, hotels and inns, and general retail. Restaurants managed to eek out a 2.9% increase in collections from last February.

Along with Breckenridge, Dillon is also experiencing a slow upturn after its strong sales tax numbers from the holiday season.

According to the town’s financial report, Dillon saw a 7.09% increase in its sales tax revenue in February compared with February 2020, which helped put its year-to-date revenue 2.25% ahead of this time last year.

Summit County’s sales tax revenue was down 6.87% in February compared with the same month last year, which equates to $69,471. Year-to-date revenue is down 7.34%.

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