Sales tax numbers for the city of Aspen continue to increase over previous year

Aspen Daily News Staff Report
Aspen’s retail sales tax collections surged 8 percent in March compared to the same month in 2012, and the city ended its first quarter with an overall 5 percent increase over last year.

March generally accounts for 11 to 13 percent of the entire year’s sales, according to the city’s monthly consumption tax report. At just over $4 million, the year-to-date collections through March were their highest since 2008.

Leading the way for the month was accommodations, which is the largest collector of local sales tax and which was up 13 percent over 2012. The next two highest categories that provide sales taxes, restaurants and bars, and sports equipment and clothing, rose 4 percent and 10 percent, respectively, in March.

For the month, lodging taxes rose 11 percent over 2012, and are up 9 percent overall for 2013.

Luxury goods and general retail saw the largest increases over March 2012, jumping 28 and 27 percent, respectively. Construction was the only declining industry in the month, falling 6 percent versus last year. That sector overall is up 4 percent this year, though.

Aspen’s portion of Pitkin County’s sales tax collections for February 2013 were up 19 percent from the same period in 2012, according to finance director Don Taylor’s memo to City Council (the numbers are a month behind city collection statistics because they are collected at the state level).

Year-to-date county sales tax collections are up 8 percent from 2012, the memo says.

Housing real estate transfer tax collections for April were up 33 percent from 2012. Wheeler real estate transfer tax collections rose 34 percent from April 2012. Year-to-date collections are down roughly 17 percent from the first four months of 2012; however, wide fluctuations in the real estate transfer taxes are common.