Sales tax revenues rising |

Sales tax revenues rising

May receipts up 14 percent compared to same period last year

— The tail end of mud season proved to be lucrative for Steamboat Springs in terms of sales tax revenues.

The May report compiled by the city’s financial services department showed sales tax revenue was up 14.6 percent in May compared to May 2005. Year to date, sales tax revenues are up nearly 13 percent. Total May 2006 sales tax revenues were $934,985. Year to date, more than $7.8 million has been received by the city.

Steamboat is outpacing other ski resort destinations. For the year, Steamboat is ahead of Aspen, Vail and Crested Butte. Aspen’s May revenues were up only 1.62 percent from the previous year. Vail’s revenues decreased nearly 10 percent.

The Steamboat Springs City Council has chosen to use the increased revenues to fund several projects. Nearly $1 million in additional funding was allocated for a new community center. The money also is being used for a new hybrid regional bus, and additional costs incurred by a project burying utility lines in the alley between Yampa Street and Lincoln Avenue.

The city’s share of the 8.4 percent sales tax is 4.5 percent, with half a percent of that going to the Steamboat Springs Education Fund.

When broken down by category, lodging experienced the largest increase — 42 percent — over the May 2005 numbers.

Rabbit Ears Motel owner Greg Koehler said Thursday that good weather was a contributing factor.

“May was a real good month,” Koehler said. “A lot of it is weather related. If it’s nice, people come.”

The motel’s average occupancy for May was 66.6 percent, more than 10 percent higher than May 2005, Koehler said.

“It’s a pretty big jump,” he said. “We certainly can’t complain.”

The number of guests staying at the hotel for business was down, Koehler said, so the increase was due to general tourism.

Sales tax revenues were up nearly 14 percent for general retail in May. That meant an additional $70,000. Sporting goods was up 26 percent, and liquor store revenues increased 15 percent.

The region that saw the largest percent increase for May comparisons — 42 percent — was the U.S. Highway 40 corridor. West Steamboat saw a 20 percent increase, and downtown saw an 18 percent increase.

To reach Matt Stensland call 871-4210 or e-mail

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