August Sales Tax

This graph shows the breakdown by category of retail sales in the city of Aspen in the month of August.

Retail sales in the city of Aspen were up 4 percent in August compared to the same month last year.

Industries posting the largest monthly gains were miscellaneous and marijuana with 15 percent and 11 percent increases, respectively. Industries posting the largest monthly declines were automobiles, construction and utilities with 18 percent, 15 percent and 10 percent declines, respectively. August accounts for roughly 9.4 percent of the year’s total retail activity, on which tax collections are based.

The positive month pushed year to date retail sales to 6 percent above 2017.

The city of Aspen entered into an agreement with Amazon providing that local sales taxes are paid for purchases made via the online retailer. That has resulted in a 28 percent increase in the “miscellaneous” category, under which the sales are counted, to $39.5 million through the first eight months of the year.

Accommodations and restaurants and bars, which are the two largest categories of the local retail economy, were up 8 percent and 6 percent for the month, respectively, and stand at 4 percent and 2 percent up for the year.

Lodging tax collections were up 8 percent for the months and are up 3 percent for the year.

Housing and Wheeler real estate transfer tax collections for September 2018 were flat. On an annual basis, collections for real estate transfer taxes are tracking roughly 15 percent below 2017 figures to date.

August retail sales

CategoryMonthly Retail Sales% Change Prior Year
Accommodations$18,743,7868%
Restaurants & Bars$14,973,5926%
Sports Equip/Clothing$3,211,3075%
Clothing$6,726,0808%
Food & Drug$5,702,117(1%)
Liquor$1,049,4321%
Miscellaneous$5,233,06715%
Construction$3,581,111(15%)
Luxury Goods$3,590,7088%
Utilities$2,919,464(10%)
Automobile$1,941,36518%)
Marijuana$1,274,92811%
Total$68,946,9564%

Year to date retail sales

CategoryRetail Sales% Change Prior year
Accommodations$160,006,5934%
Restaurants & Bars$96,500,9512%
Sports Equip/Clothing$34,104,4954%
Clothing$42,108,8755%
Food & Drug$37,977,8212%
Liquor $7,307,2423%
Miscellaneous$39,567,04428%
Construction$36,989,44410%
Luxury Goods$20,245,6873%
Utilities$31,387,9106%
Automobile$14,106,6654%
Marijuana$8,533,4107%
Total$528,836,1386%