Vail sales tax for September down 4.8 percent |

Vail sales tax for September down 4.8 percent

Cliff Thompson

The decline in sales tax revenue is significant because the town receives approximately 50 percent of its operating revenue it. Voters earlier this month narrowly defeated a proposal to increase property taxes to offset the flagging sales tax receipts, which for the year to date are down 4.8 percent, and in the last decade have not grown enough to offset the effect of inflation, according to town reports.

Vail will be paring its $44 million 2003 budget by $2 million.

Septembers’s sales tax totaled $703,170, $43,465 less than what was collected last year. Retail sales, which make up nearly 40 percent of collections, were down just 3 percent. Lodging, which is approximately 17 percent of collections, was down 7.7 percent and food and beverage sales were down 5.2 percent. The latter represents approximately 26 percent of sales tax collections.

To date this year, sales taxes total $11.8 million, 4.8 percent less than the $12.4 million collected during the first three quarters last year. Year-to-date retail sales decline is 6 percent, while lodging is down 4.5 percent and food and beverage is down 5.1 percent.

A comparison of September 2001 to September 2002’s collections by retail categories shows mixed results:

– Food sales for the month were down 2 percent to $93,225.

– Liquor sales were down 7.2 percent to $13,526.

– Apparel sales totalled $34,661, down 3.6 percent.

– Sports sales were up 2.8 percent to $71,261.

– Jewelry sales were up 4.2 percent to $20,471.

– Gallery sales were up 42.5 percent to $2,808.

Sales taxes collected in Vail Village were down 4.6 percent, with food and beverage sales showing the largest decrease, from $130,897 to $117,443, 10.3 percent. In Lionshead lodging was down 23.8 percent, from $32,285 to $24,601. Retail and food and beverage sales increased 9.1 and 7.1 percent, respectively. Retail sales totalled $36,185 and food and beverage sales totalled $22,738.

Sales tax collections in Sandstone, West Vail, East Vail and Cascade Village were down 0.6 percent. Retail was down 2 percent, from $121,426 to $119,038. Lodging declined 3.3 percent to $31,438 while food and beverage sales were up 7 percent to $40,975.

Cliff Thompson can be reached at 949-0555 ext 450 or

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