Chaffee County tax revenues show a marked increase in 2021 as the summer season ends.
May through August sales tax brought $2,486,634.79 to the county, compared to $1,800,342.42 for the same time period in 2020, an increase of 38 percent, and $1,660,654.37 in 2019, nearly a 50 percent increase.
August brought in the largest amount of tax revenue for the year to date with $732,796.70, up 26 percent over 2020. Last year August tax receipts brought in $579,607.99.
Year to date, the county is up more than $1 million from this time last year.
Dan Short, Chaffee County director of finance and personnel, said he thinks the increase could be a combination of inflation, strategic marketing by the Visitors Bureau in concert with local vendors, federal stimulus packages and COVID-19.
“COVID has really changed the economic landscape, (with visitors) escaping the city, searching for less dense locations and pent-up desire after not being able to travel, and locals not traveling for the same reason,” Short said.
Short said, besides tourism, construction is another big driver now, although he said it is hard to quantify. Construction materials are easy to track, but construction brings business to other sectors such as lodging, restaurants and retail.