Frisco’s taxing questions
The town of Frisco just took a big economic hit where it hurts – in its sales tax collections.
Financial reports show April collections fell by 32.94 percent compared to the same period a year ago.
Collections dropped from $474,821 to $318,394, a loss of $156,427.
April was the first full month the new Target store in Silverthorne was open. Frisco’s No. 1 sales tax generator, of course, is competitor Wal-Mart. Nevertheless, Wal-Mart is telling the Summit Daily News it had a better April than March.
So something is really kooky about April, and nothing about it is good.
Still, the town’s sales taxes fell in January, February and March by 14.68 percent, 17.30 percent and 10.04 percent, respectively.
It’s truth or consequences time in Frisco. Certainly, big budget cuts are coming, although town officials are banking on a good summer to stave off the inevitable.
Elected officials will have to decide what services are essential, and which can pass by the wayside.
Whatever the reason for the decline, the wake-up call is ringing loud and clear.
Which makes this year’s Frisco Community Survey all that more relevant. Residents and second homeowners in Frisco will be asked an array of questions – many of which will be telling about how people prioritize their desires for public spending.
In the last survey, people deemed more recreational amenities important as survey questions addressed that subject.
In this survey, town officials will be looking closely at questions that gauge how people feel about the town’s economy and potential economic development.
The topic “local economy” tops two questions, one asking people to rank important issues and another asking people how they would spend town money.
Other questions are meant to learn where people shop and dine.
Meanwhile, the town has a Parks and Recreation Plan that calls for everything from an ice rink to an multipurpose center to a ski jump.
Work already is under way on the Lakefront Park and Marina improvements, thanks to a financial decision in 2001 to mortgage town hall.
Now, times have changed. If more recreational improvements are to come on line, the town will have to solve its sales tax decline – or maybe, invest in the future and make the town more attractive.
It will be an interesting discussion to watch. The surveys are expected to go out by the end of the week.
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