Summit County towns see up to 14% increase in August sales tax revenue |

Summit County towns see up to 14% increase in August sales tax revenue

While grocery and liquor stores were allowed to remain open throughout the shutdown, several municipalities still reported declines in sales tax collections from this sector March-June. After a strong summer tourism season in the county, August sales tax data in Silverthorne and Breckenridge shows an increase in this sector.
Liz Copan /

FRISCO — Summit County municipalities fared well in August with all four towns seeing an increase in sales tax collections compared with the same month last year.

Year-over-year collections in Dillon, Frisco and Breckenridge saw more growth in August than in July, when towns saw year-over-year sales tax collections growth after several months of decline.

In Silverthorne, sales tax collections didn’t increase as much as in July, when the town saw a year-over-year sales tax increase of 9% following about 3% in June. In August, the town collected 5% more than in August 2019. Silverthorne has performed better than officials expected following the shutdown. Town officials have attributed the success to a largely local residential population and the essential businesses in town that were allowed to stay open through the shutdown.

Of the eight categories the town breaks down sales tax data into, four were down compared to August of last year and four were up. Online retail saw a 153% increase in sales tax revenue, and food and liquor saw its first increase since March, up 19%. Despite reopening, the Outlets at Silverthorne are down 17% in August. Lodging taxes are promising with a 45% increase in August compared with the same month last year. 

Dillon had its best month so far this year with a 14% increase in sales tax revenue in August compared with August 2019. Town Finance Director Carri McDonnell noted in an email that year-over-year online sales increased drastically in August by 157%. August was up even more than July, which saw an increase in sales tax revenue of 2% after March, May and June saw declining revenue. 

Dillon’s year-to-date sales tax collections have been down every month since the shutdown in March, but August’s year-to-date numbers are the closest to neutral with only a 0.7% decline. However, lodging taxes were down about 21% in August compared with August 2019 after rebounding with a 13% increase in July. 

Frisco saw a 14% increase in sales tax collections in August. This follows a 6% year-over-year increase in July. Year-to-date, Frisco sales tax revenue is down about 2%. Lodging tax revenue soared with an increase of about 24% in August. Vacation rentals made up 65% of the lodging revenue.

Breckenridge’s net taxable sales are up 12% in August after a 2% increase in July. Of the town’s six sales-tax categories, four were up in revenue and two were down. Short-term lodging soared with a 63% increase in sales tax collections, and marijuana sales were up 41%. Restaurant and bar sales were down 10%, and construction was down 33%. While Breckenridge fared well in August, sales taxes are still $2.6 million under the year-to-date budget and behind the prior year. 

Unincorporated Summit County saw a decrease in year-over-year collections.  

Summit County sales taxes were down 10% in August and 14% year to date. While the county showed a decline in sales tax revenue in August, the 10% decline is an improvement after higher rates of decline from March through July. July was down 11% and June was down 26%. The county’s mass-transit tax, which is a 0.75% sales tax collected throughout Summit County, was up 4% in August but down 9% year to date.

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