Eagle reports an 11 percent increase in sales tax revenue
The Great Recession was slow to hit the town of Eagle and, correspondingly, the community has been slow to emerge from the economic downturn.
But figures from the first half of 2015 indicate that turnaround is finally happening.
According to numbers from the first half of this year, sales tax revenues are up 11 percent in the town. Building permit numbers are still lagging, but they also have begun a rebound from the low point recorded back in 2012.
According to Eagle Finance Director Jill Ewing, if the sales tax trend from the first half of 2015 continues, then the community will collect approximately $3.4 million in sales tax this year. That would be the best year Eagle has logged since 2008 when it collected $3.1 million in sales tax. Building permit revenue is $132,000 so far for 2015, which represents an increase from the low point of $37,000 in 2012. But building permit numbers have a long way to go to reach their pre-recession high of $564,000 in 2007.
“We have had a slower recovery than the state as a whole,” said Ewing, noting that last year the state recorded a 12 percent increase in sales tax revenues.
Eby Creek Road impact
Eagle’s sales tax revenue has begun to climb, or at least stopped dropping, back in 2013. In 2014, revenues were basically flat. Town officials cited the construction work along Eby Creek Road as the likely reason. There was extensive disruption at Eagle’s gateway last summer as crews completed construction of five new roundabouts.
“A good portion of our sales tax revenue comes off of I-70,” said Eagle Town Manager Jon Stavney. He noted the construction project likely discouraged motorists from stopping in Eagle and with the work now done and an attractive I-70 presence now in place, Eagle can lure in more visitors.
The Eagle Valley Land Trust and Eagle River Watershed Council program adds 1% to purchases to fund preservation and conservation.