Summer sales tax collections up sharply in much of east Grand County
The steady improvement of economic conditions in Grand County continued this summer as the communities on the eastern end of the County experienced noteworthy increases in sales tax collections over 2014 figures.
Sales tax receipts increased in 2015 in all three months this summer for the four communities in eastern Grand County.
The ongoing increase in summer tourism will come as no surprise to county residents who contended with heavy traffic on Highway 40 throughout the summer, made worse by several construction projects.
Traffic from the north end of the county was also heavy as car counts through Rocky Mountain National Park reached their highest levels since 2008 this summer, according to Grand Lake Town Manager Jim White. Grand Lake experienced increases in sales tax revenue in 2015 over figures for 2014 for all three months of the summer season.
In June Grand Lake received $155,999 in sales taxes, up from the $140,004 the town received in 2014. Sales tax receipts for July 2015 were $255,274, up over $20,000 from the 2014 total receipts of $233,571. August was a banner month for Grand Lake as sales tax receipts increased by over $30,000 from 2014 totals. In August 2015 Grand Lake took in $216,174, significantly outpacing the $184,912 received by the Town in 2014. So far this year Grand Lake has experienced a 7.8 percent increase in sales tax revenue over 2014.
Granby also saw steady and consistent increases in sales tax receipts this summer over 2014 levels. In June 2014 Granby received $202,315 in sales tax collections. In 2015 the Town collected $224,971. July 2015 was up as well with $259,838 collected, up from the $244,134 collected in July 2014. August saw the largest increase in sales tax receipts in 2015 over 2014 levels with Granby taking in $247,875, up over $30,000 from the $215,116 received in 2014.
The Town of Fraser saw increases in sales tax collections throughout the summer as well, though the increases in Fraser were significantly more modest than in Granby, Grand Lake or Winter Park. In June 2014 Fraser received $124,151 in sales tax. In 2015 that figured increased by a little over $2,000 to $126,402.
July receipts were up in 2015 reaching $161,718 in adjusted collections for the month, up over $6,000 from the $155,47 in adjusted collections in July 2014. Unlike the communities on the northern end of the county, Fraser showed only modest increases in sales tax receipts in August 2015 over 2014 figures. Fraser took in $149,073 in adjusted collections, up from the $147,235 received in 2014.
Nat Havens, finance manager for the Town of Fraser, pointed out the closing of ALCO in late February heavily impacted sales tax receipts as did the temporary closing of the Holiday In Express and Suites in Fraser in April following a fire in the building. Havens explained the reopening of the Holiday Inn Express and the expected opening of Murdoch’s Ranch and Home Supply later this year, in the space formerly occupied by ALCO, should positively impact Fraser’s sales tax receipts.
The Town of Winter Park also experienced consistent increases in sales tax collections throughout the summer over 2014 collections with the largest increase in June.
In June 2015 the Town of Winter Park collected $216,289 in sales tax, up close to $50,000 from 2014 figures of $170,749. Winter Park also saw a significant increase in July, taking in $283,691 in sales tax in 2015; up nearly $40,000 from the $244,898 figure for July 2014. August sales tax collections were up a modest 4 percent in 2015 from 2014 with $241,672 in collections for 2015 compared with $233,082 in August 2014.
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