Summit County towns outpace last year in sales tax |

Summit County towns outpace last year in sales tax

A burn area on Miners Creek Trail caused by the Peak 2 fire, Tuesday, July 25, near Breckenridge. Breckenridge saw a 2.8 percent decline in short-term housing taxes in July as a result of the fire.
Hugh Carey / |

Coming into the summer months, Dillon had been the only town in Summit County not tracking ahead of last year’s sales-tax receipts, but that changed this July as Dillon caught up to last year’s total and all four Summit County towns are now ahead in year-to-date comparisons.

Dillon back in black

With 2 percent growth in July, Dillon’s 2017 sales-tax receipts have caught up to last year’s total through July. The town started the year down after lagging — generally about 2- 5 percent — each of the first three months of the year.

Dillon started off with January’s tax receipts almost 3 percent behind last year’s figures. February and March also saw slight declines, but the town made up ground in April and May.

May is typically the most sluggish month of the year in Summit County for businesses, but Dillon saw more than 11 percent growth in its sales-tax receipts this year compared to May 2016, making it the best May Dillon has ever had.

June’s numbers weren’t quite so rosy and were off about 1 percent from the prior year. Still, with July’s growth, the town sits .05 percent ahead in a year-to-date comparison, making it the first time this year that Dillon has been ahead in a YTD comparison.

July a rose for Silverthorne

For Silverthorne, July’s sales-tax receipts came in 9 percent ahead of July 2016, with the month eclipsing $1 million for the first time ever and helping the town get more than 7 percent ahead in a YTD comparison.

The trend of rising sales-tax receipts is nothing new for Silverthorne, and there’s been 3 percent to 11 percent growth every year since at least 2013.

At the same time, YTD tax receipts through July have raised from $5 million in 2013 to $6.2 million this year for the town.

For just July, every sector grew in Silverthorne with the service industry leading all others up 57 percent, and the Outlets, which are in the middle of their fall sales campaign and dealing with a bridge-replacement project, posting the most modest gain at 2.8 percent.

Frisco’s fixes don’t hurt outlook

Frisco’s sales-tax receipts for July had some wild fluctuations, but town revenue specialist Chad Most attributed much of those spikes to corrections rather than actual market conditions.

Take restaurants, for example. The sector was down 6.5 percent compared to July 2016, but Most explained the decline was largely a result of sales taxes for a restaurant with multiple locations being incorrectly reported for just Frisco.

With monies originally collected for Frisco being redistributed, that’s why Most said Frisco saw a decline in that category.

Additionally, Frisco’s recreation category posted a nearly 50 percent gain, but much of that growth was distributed to Frisco in error, Most said, and the spike shouldn’t be nearly so dramatic.

“If we had not received those sales taxes in error … it would have dropped our growth of 3.4 percent in July over last July,” Most said of Frisco’s overall sales tax collections. “But the real numbers — we would have been 1.4 percent up, and that’s a better reflection of the actual growth we saw in July.”

Most added that he anticipates the high growth percentages — high single- to double-digit percentages that Frisco’s seen as of late — will start to drop to a more measured 2-to-3 percent range.

“All in all, despite the fact growth percentages have come down a little bit, we’re still pretty bullish,” he said.

Peak 2 fire stunts short-term lodging in July

Breckenridge is tracking ahead of budget and prior year results through the first eight months of this year, according to the town’s most recent financial report.

Altogether, the town is approximately $2.8 million ahead of 2017 budgeted revenues in the excise fund, which is largely being attributed to the real estate transfer tax being $1.7 million over budget and up $873,000 ahead of the prior year.

Additionally, the retail, marijuana, restaurants and bars, grocery and liquor, construction and utility sectors have all grown in YTD comparisons.

Of those, construction has seen the most dramatic increase at just over 12 percent, but July was not the best month for the sector, which dipped 11 percent compared to July 2016.

At the same time, the town saw a slight 2.8 percent decline in taxes from short-term housing in July compared to July 2016. The decline, however, is being attributed to the Peak 2 fire.

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