Lodging taxes increase in July | SteamboatToday.com

Lodging taxes increase in July

— Tuesday brought additional proof that Steamboat Springs didn’t just seem busier this summer – it was.

Money collected from the city’s 1 percent lodging tax increased nearly 25 percent in July compared with July 2005, according to the tax revenue report released by the city Tuesday.

“I was impressed with the increase in the lodging (revenues),” said Don Taylor, Steamboat Springs director of financial services.

About $313,611 was collected from July lodging taxes compar-ed with $253,546 in July 2005.

The increase in taxes collected is consistent with figures compiled by the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association that predicted an increase in the number of people staying in area lodging in July. The Chamber surveys local lodges on a weekly basis to produce an estimate of how many people will be visiting Steamboat. The Chamber publishes the results in its “lodging barometer.”

The barometer predicted increases for each weekend in July. The trend of higher occupancy numbers was consistent for much of the summer season.

Sales tax is the city’s largest revenue source, accounting for 74 percent, or $16,300,000, of budgeted general fund revenues in the initial 2006 budget. More money was coming in this year than had been budgeted for, so the 2006 budget was revised. Additional revenues are being dedicated to capital improvement projects such as a new community center.

There have been gains every month this year in the money collected from sales tax compared with last year.

In July, the increase was nearly 10 percent over July 2006. Year to date, the city has collected 12.5 percent more money than it did last year.

While lodging tax revenues accounted for the most significant percent increase in July, there also were increases in all other categories in the report. Sales tax collected from sporting goods was up 9.54 percent compared to July 2005, and liquor stores were up 8.65 percent.

The city also keeps track of tax revenue by area. The mountain area had the largest increase in July over the other areas with an increase of 18.96 percent over July 2005. The U.S. Highway 40 corridor area has an increase of 12.07 percent, while the downtown area increased only 1 percent to $343,613.

Total tax collections for July were $1,602,302 compared to $1,457,453 in July 2005.

– To reach Matt Stensland, call 871-4210 or e-mail mstensland@steamboatpilot.com

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