Latest Basalt Sales Tax Report Shows Strong Post-COVID Economy

December was the icing on the cake of a very good year for Basalt sales tax collections.

The city collected $850,326 in sales tax in December, which reflects actual sales in November. That was up 24.7% from the same month a year earlier.

For the full year – reflecting sales from December 2020 to November 2021 – the city’s sales tax collections increased by 18%. Basalt raised $9.07 million last year, up from $7.68 million in 2020.

Figures are provisional at this time in case late taxes are paid.

Retail food sales fell in Basalt in 2021 and alcohol sales increased slightly from 2020. Otherwise, sales tax revenue soared.
Aspen Times file photo

The latest sales tax report shows the strength of Basalt’s COVID recovery. The city’s retail sales have soared from pre-pandemic levels. In 2019, total retail sales tax collections were $6.72 million, about 25% less than this year’s amount.

The lodging industry grew by 38% in 2021. Restaurants with bars grew by 33.4%.

“Due to strong sales in the accommodation and foodservices sectors, these sectors are now showing gains over the previous year and exceeding pre-COVID sales,” said a report from Christy Chicoine, director. city ​​finances.

General retail sales rose 24.5%, while sporting goods retail soared 26.2%.

Sales of building materials increased by 46.4%.

As people became more familiar with COVID, they started eating out more often and eating and drinking less at home. Liquor stores only posted a 0.9% increase in sales in 2021, while grocery and other food retail sales fell 3.8%. Grocery sales remained the largest sector of Basalt’s economy. Retail food sales accounted for $2.45 million in 2021. General retail, which includes the online shopping tax, was a close second at $2.19 million.

The City collects sales taxes for its general fund and for its parks, open spaces and trails fund.

“The initial General Fund sales tax projection for 2021 was $6,199,235,” Chicoine’s report said. “The actual General Fund sales tax project is $6,416,658, $217,423 higher than the 2021 projection.”

Sales tax revenue for the Open Spaces Fund was $31,517 lower than expected. The Open Spaces Fund does not receive sales tax revenue from sales of marijuana and other items, which explains the differences, according to Chicoine’s report.

Retail activity cooled in December, which marked the start of the new fiscal year, according to the January sales tax report. Sales tax collections increased by 1.6%. The city has budgeted 2.14% sales tax revenue for 2022.

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