Steamboat Springs sales tax sets yet another record in February |

Steamboat Springs sales tax sets yet another record in February

Short-term rental tax sees modest increase over last month, has collected $2.6 million through two months

Skiers cross Mount Werner Circle toward the base area on Friday, March 24, 2023. The mountain area of Steamboat Springs was the source of 34% of all sales tax collections in February and saw an increase in collections of nearly 14% over February 2022.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Sales taxes in Steamboat Springs set a record in February with the nearly $4.3 million collected being the highest ever for the month and 6% more than the same month last year.

Through just two months of the year, Steamboat has collected $8.8 million in sales taxes, which is more than 10% higher than through the first two months last year. That total is equivalent to 22% of all the sales taxes collected by the city in 2022. February typically represents 10% of annual sales tax collections.

The highest increases in February were for utilities and restaurants with increases of 28% and 14%, respectively.

Sales tax collections increased in all categories except for marijuana, and construction and home improvement with each of those seeing double-digit decreases. Grocery stores saw a 9% increase, sporting goods jumped 8% and lodging was up 7% over February 2022.

There were sales tax increases in most of the city’s geographic areas as well, with west Steamboat being up 17%, the mountain area up 14% and downtown up 11%. Taxes in the mountain area amounted to 34% of all sales taxes collected in February.

Out-of-town and regional collections were both down with the former seeing a decrease of nearly 32% over a year ago.

The second month of the short-term rental tax saw a slight increase of $25,000 over January, bringing its two-month total to more than $2.6 million.

The new tax was approved by voters in November by a wide margin and collected just over $1.3 million in its first month.

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The tax was projected to generate about $14 million in the first year, though it could be lower because Steamboat Springs City Council added an exception so the new tax wouldn’t apply to reservations made for this ski season before the start of the year.

Funding from this tax is meant to support affordable and attainable housing projects in Steamboat, including but not limited to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s Brown Ranch.

The city’s 1% accommodations tax also saw a 7% increase in February compared to the same month last year. Year to date, the tax is up about 6%.

The accommodations tax is largely focused on local trail projects, though the 2013 ballot measure outlining spending for this tax is set to expire. City Council is working on a reformulated version of the question to pose to voters this year with the key change being to allow the city to use accommodations tax funding to pay for maintenance of projects constructed with this funding.

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