Silverthorne’s sales tax revenue increases nearly 800% for online retail in June
SILVERTHORNE — Online retail sales tax collections in the town of Silverthorne jumped 792.32% in June compared with the same month last year.
The town collected $4,481 in June 2018 and $39,986 in June of this year, according to sales tax reports. The growth in collections is attributed to an increase in the number of Silverthorne retailers selling their products online.
“In the wake of the Wayfair Supreme Court decision, we have been receiving more taxes and licenses filed from retailers as a result of online purchases,” town Revenue Administrator Jackie Balyeat wrote in an email.
The 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision allows online retailers to charge state sales tax, even if the buyer is out of state.
Local businesses were not required to report their online sales tax collections separately from their in-store tax collections until this year, accounting for a portion of the increase.
Silverthorne director of finance Laura Kennedy said the new online retail sales tax category was added as a way for the town to measure the local impact of the Wayfair case.
Nevertheless, the clear uptick in online retail sales tax revenue has added to Silverthorne’s primarily sales-tax driven budget. The town receives 60% of its budget via sales tax.
“It’s an interesting change, and we’ve seen that the brick and mortar retail store sales are declining,” Kennedy said. “It would be nice for online sales to make up the sales tax deficit.”
Silverthorne has more than 78 brick and mortar stores and receives about 50 to 75 new license requests for online retail every month, according to Balyeat.
Kennedy said the town issued 1,559 licenses for new retail business in 2018. By June of this year, the town already had issued 1,600 business licenses in just six months.
Of the 1,600 business licenses Silverthorne has issued this year, 529 are physical retail locations and 544 are strictly online retailers. The remaining business licenses are for businesses that are not in town but provide services within town limits or have employees that come into town.
“The trend is changing, clearly, with one whole section of the outlets being demolished this month,” Kennedy said.
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