October’s sales tax numbers continue a fortunate trend

Steamboat’s 2022 sales tax numbers continue to outperform last year.

October’s sales tax revenue of $2.6 million outperformed October 2021 by about 14.5% and carried the year-to-date increase over last year to a little under 20%.

Last year’s collections weren’t a slouch either, as 2021 yielded more sales tax revenue in Steamboat than any other year on record. But, the city likely surpassed last year’s total of a little more than $34.2 million by the end of November.

According to the city’s October 2022 sales, use, and accommodation tax report, the city has collected over $32.6 million by the end of October, meaning November’s sales tax revenue only needed to be about $1.7 million to surpass last year. November of 2021, for reference, yielded almost $2.2 million.

And considering how early ski season started in town and how almost every day in December has snowed so far, it’s likely the city’s sales tax numbers will finish strong into the end of 2022.

While inflation has certainly been a factor, peaking at 9% in June, the city’s revenue has kept pace — 2021’s sales tax total was 22% higher than pre-pandemic 2019 — which has been in large part because of construction projects.

Sales tax revenue from construction projects was up by almost 50% in October compared to last year, yielding $529,508. The high cost of raw materials is a factor in this trend that’s been observed all year, but global commodity prices have been falling for months and inflation in November dropped to a little more than 7%.

Sales tax revenue from restaurants, miscellaneous retail and grocery stores were all between 9% and 10% higher than October of last year, according to the city’s report.

Lodging and amenities yielded $347,815 in October’s sales tax revenue, which is almost a 12% improvement over last year.

The accommodations tax, which levies a 1% tax on lodging stays less than 30 days, yielded $80,553 in October — up 10.17% over October of last year — bringing the year-to-date increase to almost 31% over last year. The accommodations tax is primarily used to fund local trail projects.

Revenue from marijuana sales, however, continues to fall behind as every month this year has seen lower numbers than the same timeframe in 2021. October’s marijuana sales tax collections were down 15%, yielding $36,585. But the total drop in revenue in October was only $6,481.

Collections from the sales of sporting goods were down in October by a little under 9%, but overall it’s been a good year in that category as the first three months of the year saw large gains while revenue has largely evened out since.

The utilities category was up by over 10% in October.

According to the city’s data, for the past five years, October’s numbers represent, on average, about 7% of the city’s annual sales tax revenue, while November represents about 6% of annual collections and December accounts for about 13%.

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