Buena Vista’s sales tax revenues were up from 2021, following recent upward trends. Local sales tax was up 13% from 2021, just over $3.6 million, while remote was up 9% at $800,554.
“It’s good to see not one extreme but a good balance between the two,” said town treasurer Phillip Puckett at the town trustee’s Feb. 28 meeting.
January and February remote sales tax revenues both came in considerably below 2021’s numbers, down 19% and 14% respectively. October ‘22 came in 1% lower. Additionally, while last year’s local sales tax data follows similar trends from 2021, remote sales tax data takes a very different path in the year’s first half.
Where 2021 started the year at around $64,000 and then dropped to around $53,000 in April, January 2022 started the year at around $52,000 then jumped up to the $67,000 range for March and April. 2021 also slid to around $59,000 in July and August, while 2022 jumped up to nearly $76,000. Numbers trended more closely in the later months through the end of December.
“Remote is a little more volatile because it’s not dependent on when people are here visiting. It’s a lot more about when people that actually do live here are spending money online,” Puckett said. “Sometimes, when we have large building projects that acquire materials outside of the area. … The numbers aren’t huge, but we definitely see a trend up towards December for holiday spending, and then it does drop off in January, February, typically after the holiday.”
Sales tax receipt numbers from the town’s dashboards on www.cleargov.com show that sales tax has nearly doubled since 2016, the earliest year on the dashboard. Data and graphs also show consistent increases, even throughout the pandemic. January 2022 was the first month since mid-2017 to come in lower than the previous year.
“With the exception of when things were almost completely shut down, half of March, April and into the early parts of May, sales tax has picked right back up and and definitely started growing year on year at a rate that was higher than we’ve seen in the recent years before that,” said Puckett.
“I think we saw an even greater growth after the pandemic. We attributed that mainly to us being an outdoor-focused community and destination and lots of people were getting away from the cities from the Front Range and beyond,” he said. “We’ve continued to be a destination and besides those first couple of months of the pandemic, we’ve seen healthy growth. Now, in ‘22, it did slow a bit. … As we had been predicting that we weren’t going to see these huge double digit year on year increases forever, it dipped back down into single digit growth, at least over budget. We’re still seeing good healthy self taxes, but it’s starting to calm down to more of a single digit growth.”
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