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  • Dylan Anderson

Steamboat's April sales tax collections set a record for the 26th straight month

Revenues from Steamboat's STR tax totaled $316,00 in April after being over $1.3 million in each of the first three months of the year.

Steamboat Springs Sales Tax collections set another record in April, the 26th straight month that collections have been the highest ever for the particular month, according to preliminary data from the city.

That record extends back to February 2021, when collections come in just short of what they were in February 2020, the month before the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered businesses and later set off a surge in inflation across the country.

April’s collections of $1.96 million amounts to a 5.4% increase over April 2022 and through the first four months of the year collections are up 9.2% over last year. Total collections so far in 2023 top $16.1 million, which is about 46% of what the city has budgeted to take in from sales taxes this year. The city budgeted to collect $35 million from sales taxes in 2023 after collecting more than $40 million in 2022.

Utilities was the sector of sales taxes that saw the biggest increase, with collections jumping nearly 30% over last April. The second largest sector that saw an increase was lodging, which saw a 14% increase as Steamboat Resort extended the ski season by a week for the first time in at least 30 years.

Monthly sales taxes collected in Steamboat Springs have set a record in every month dating back to February 2021. (City of Steamboat Springs/Courtesy)

Collections in grocery stores was up nearly 8%, and each restaurant- and sporting goods-related collection saw increases of about 10% when compared to April 2022. Collections from liquor stores, marijuana retailers, and construction and home improvement each saw declines of 7%, 9% and 13% respectively.

When looking at areas of Steamboat, the mountain area saw the biggest increase with April collections being up about 40% over last year.

Perhaps predictably with the ski season ending last month, collections from Steamboat’s short-term rental tax were down significantly to about $316,000 in April after each of the first three months of the year saw collections over $1.3 million. Total STR tax revenues for the year are nearly $4.8 million and the tax has been projected to bring in about $14 million in its first year.

The STR tax is funding dedicated for affordable and attainable housing projects, including infrastructure that is needed to bring those projects out of the ground. When discussed last week, the Brown Ranch Annexation Committee reviewed a draft fiscal analysis that factored in half of STR revenues going toward an estimated $355 million in infrastructure costs projected at the Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s planned development.

The city’s 1% accommodations tax saw an increase of nearly 13% in April and is up 8.2% over last year so far in 2023. Building use tax, which is paid when building permits are issued and is used to fund capital projects in the city, saw a more than 1200% increase in April year-over-year, though this tax often wildly fluctuates from month to month. Total yearly building use tax collections are still down more than 50% compared to the start of last year.


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