Gypsum sees flat sales tax receipts
September 9, 2016
GYPSUM — Gypsum's sales tax receipts have been flat so far in 2016, in contrast to other local jurisdictions that have seen double-digit increases.
But one of the big contributing factors to that statistic is something no one is complaining about — lower fuel prices. When the price of oil drops, so does Gypsum's revenue from fuel sales at the Eagle County Regional Airport.
According to Gypsum finance director Mark Silverthorne, the town has collected $3.2 million in sales tax through July of 2016.
"We are down .28 percent, and that comes to about $9,000," said Silverthorne.
In addition to dropping fuel prices, Silverthorne noted that rock slides in Glenwood Canyon shut down Interstate 70 for a number of days earlier this year. That prevented shoppers from Western Colorado from coming to Costco, Gypsum's largest retailer.
"When they close the canyon down, that hurts," said Silverthorne.
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While sales tax has dipped a bit, Silverthorne noted that the town's other revenues have held steady. The town had estimated a 3 percent increase in sales tax for 2016. With five months still left in 2016, Gypsum will determine if it needs to make budget adjustments, and what those adjustments might be, as it collects the remaining revenues.
The town also carries a fund balance of between 15 and 20 percent of its total budget to offset dips in sales tax collections, emergency projects and other contingencies.
Last year, Gypsum's sales tax collections totaled nearly $4.6 million. That represented a 3.6 percent increase throughout 2014. In comparison, the town of Eagle collected $3.35 million in sales tax last year, which represented an 11 percent increase over 2014.
Eagle has seen a 13 percent increase in 2016 sales tax revenue for a total of $2.15 million during the first six months of 2016.