Steamboat Springs year-to-date sales tax revenue up almost 23% after July numbers released

While accommodations tax revenue was down for July, total sales tax collections were 5.94% higher than last year.

The city collected $3.3 million dollars this past July compared to $3.1 million in July 2021. 

The year-to-date sales tax revenue is 22.72% higher than last year, about $23.7 million compared to $19.3 million collected through this time last year.

Construction and home improvement continues to buoy the city’s sales tax revenue, as collections are almost 47% higher in that category compared to last year. 

The utilities sales tax category was up 16% in revenue compared to last year, which is consistent with most of the other months in the past year. 

Sales tax collections from lodging and amenities was down by almost 7%, while sales tax revenue from miscellaneous retail was up by almost 7%. 

The restaurant category, which includes bars, yielded about 1.5% less revenue in July compared to last year, while sales tax collections from liquor stores were up by almost 6%. 

Sales tax revenue in Steamboat Springs from the last year divided by category and month.
City of Steamboat Springs/Courtesy

The sporting goods category was up by about 3.5%, while grocery stores and other food sellers yielded a little over 1% more revenue than July 2021. 

When breaking down sales tax revenue by area, the out-of-town sales tax category saw an increase in collections of almost 81%, which, according to the city, is attributed to an increase in vendors in the construction and miscellaneous retail industries engaged in business in Steamboat’s jurisdiction.

July 2022 sales tax revenue in Steamboat Springs broken down by area.
City of Steamboat Springs/Courtesy

The marijuana category continues to underperform compared to 2021, with a drop in tax revenue of about 22% in July. June of this year saw a similar drop of 17%. The marijuana category makes up a small percentage of the city’s sales tax revenue, and July’s collections of $44,912 accounts for a little over 1% of the total sales tax revenue in July. 

Sue Davies, the city’s budget and tax manager, said the drop in marijuana tax revenue is likely because of new dispensaries that opened in Hayden and Craig, as well as a drop in wholesale marijuana prices statewide.

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Revenue from the building use tax totaled $232,020 in July, which was 64% lower than last year, while 2022’s year-to-date net building use tax collections are 38% higher than 2021. Building use tax collections vary significantly month-to-month, as the revenue is based on the number of building permits the city issues, the use tax reconciliations completed, and the size and number of developments in the city. 

Davies said the low collections of use tax in July was simply a matter of timing, and yearly figures are better reflections of building use tax trends.

The city’s accommodation tax revenue was down 9.37% compared to July 2021, but year-to-date accommodation tax collection is 39.2% higher than the same period last year. 

The city received $136,182 from the accommodation tax in July, bringing the year-to-date total to over $1.3 million. 

Accommodation tax revenue is primarily used for local trail projects such as the westward expansion of the Yampa River Core Trail, while a small amount each year is dedicated to marketing the projects that were funded by the accommodation tax and making capital improvements at the Haymaker Golf Course.

July’s occupancy rates, which measures the percentage of available lodging in town, was down 32.5% in July compared to 2021. Last year was an especially busy summer for lodges in Steamboat as international travel was still limited and the lifting of pandemic-era lockdowns brought a large number of visitors into Steamboat, particularly from the front range. 

While occupancy was down considerably, visitors paid more for lodging in 2022, which is why July’s accommodations tax collections only saw a moderate drop. 

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