Buena Vista closed out the year 2020 with a year-to-year increase of 20.7% in sales tax returns in the month of December.
In total, the town brought in $4,024,106.80 through sales tax receipts in 2020, 16.25% higher than 2019 and 76% higher than the total sales tax revenue generated in 2013.
Sales tax returns for December were $339,657.09, said town treasurer Michelle Stoke. In 2019, the town brought in $280,346.37.
Between 2018 and 2019, the Christmas season grew by 18.6%, and between 2018 and 2017, returns for the month grew by 10%.
In December, $228,235 was generated locally, or 15.34% higher than in 2019, and $51.773 came from remote sales, 22.55% higher.
In 2020, as in 2019, all 12 months of the year showed returns in sales tax receipts up over the same month in the previous year. The most recent month to show a year-to-year decrease was in August of 2018, when returns dropped by 2.3%.
The town finished out the year with a surplus over budget of $406,338.29.
The highest-earning month of the year – and ever – was September, edging out the typical peak months of BV’s economic activity, July and August.
In 2020, the town recorded a sales tax jump in January of 29.7%.
January 2020 brought in $263,148, Stoke said.
Thanks to a correction from the state making up for a clerical error, February technically brought in 71% more than it did in 2019, although even subtracting that $116,076 correction, the town brought in more that month than it did in 2019, with Stoke reported $328,883.52 in revenue for February, up from $191,966.92.
February grew 1.75 % from 2017-2018 and 13.5 percent 2018-2019.
March sales tax grew from $225,926.77 in 2019 to $244,787.06 in 2020, a greater rate of growth than it saw in the past 2 years, and comes in at 4.18% higher than the budgeted revenue.
Between 2017 and 2018, March grew in sales tax returns by 6.2%, and between 2018 and 2019, March was the slowest-growing month of the year at 3.8%.
In April, which bore the brunt of shutdowns at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales tax grew by 6.62%
Between 2018 and 2019, April grew by 9.7 %, and from 2017-2018, the month saw increases of 14.7 %.
May sales tax grew by 7.2% in 2020.
Sales tax returns for June were up by 8.52% over that month last year.
In July, typically the highest-earning month of the year in Buena Vista, receipts rose 8.85% over the same month in 2019.
Sales tax returns remitted to the town of Buena Vista from the Colorado Department of Revenue show that town businesses generated $436,263 in sales tax revenue in July last year, up from $400,771 in July 2019.
September jumped by 19.44% compared to the same month in 2019, and were up 9.81% in October and 18.04% in November 2020.
Part of the reason BV was able to stay positive during the pandemic was due to a change in the way sales tax is collected for remote sales, such as purchases made online. Since 2019, the tax from those sales has gone to where the purchase was made.
According to data collected by Stoke, the amount of sales tax revenue generated locally grew between 2019 and 2020 in all months except March, April, May, and June – the pandemic’s first wave.
Those deficits shrunk progressively as the weather warmed, from a decrease of 18.22% in March to just 0.62% in June.
The amount generated from remote sales, by contrast, never decreased in any month of 2020. In fact, compared to what was gathered in 2019 from remote sales, receipts more than doubled in January, February and March, and were 81.53% higher in April, 88.43% higher in May and 98.52% higher in June. The most sluggish increase in remote sales was in August with 2.15%.
Looking at the whole year, the amount of sales tax generated locally grew by 3.52%, while remote sales grew by 56.35%.