Sales tax revenue up across Grand County
Every town in Grand County has seen more sales tax collections compared to last year as record-breaking revenue continues across the county.
With Grand County seeing more visitors than ever, it comes as no surprise that sales tax has continue to exponentially increase for the county’s six towns. These numbers are a helpful indicator for economic activity, giving an idea as to how busy towns are throughout the year.
Unsurprisingly, Winter Park collects the most sales tax of Grand’s towns and saw the biggest year to date increase in collections. Granby collects the second most in sales tax, but Grand Lake has seen a bigger proportional increase in revenue compared to this time last year.
The monthly numbers also indicate that more economic activity is happening year round, from more summer visitors in the Fraser and Winter Park areas to more wintertime activity for Grand Lake and Kremmling.
September is the most recent date of reporting for all the towns because sales tax collections, which go through the state, lag behind by about two months. Notably, online purchases only started being included in municipal collections a couple years ago and now contribute to roughly 5% of sales tax depending on the area.
Winter Park has seen the highest increase of sales tax year to date, up 29% over last year through September. That’s nearly $2 million more in revenue, including sales, lodging and transit and trails tax totaling $8.1 million.
Winter Park is also 13% ahead of 2019’s pre-pandemic collections. The best month so far this year for the resort area was March at $1.43 million, though this couldn’t beat the record-breaking collections of March 2019 at $1.64 million.
July saw nearly $1.1 million in revenue this year, making it the first time a summer month in the town named for winter broke $1 million.
Grand Lake has also seen a big jump in sales tax collections compared to 2020, up 28.3% year to date. The town has collected $2.6 million with three months left, which exceeds the total for all of 2020.
Every month in Grand Lake has been up over 2020 except for September, which was down 5% or a little less than $20,000. Grand Lake saw more than half a million dollars in sales tax collections for the first time ever this past July.
Grand Lake’s winter months also consistently topped $100,000, a new trend that the town didn’t see in 2020 or 2019.
With two months left of Granby’s fiscal year — which is set from December to November — the town is already breaking 2020’s record for sales tax collection by nearly $1 million.
With almost $5 million collected this year the town has seen 22.9% more in revenue year to date.
September 2021 was Granby’s biggest ever month for sales tax collection at $715,287. Every month was up except for August, which was down by about $39,000 compared to the same month last year.
The town’s lowest month for overall sales tax collection so far this year was February at $378,035. Even so, February 2021 still exceeded collections for eight of the 12 months in 2020.
Kremmling has seen the next biggest increase in sales tax collection to date, up 19.9% and also on track for a record-breaking year. With three more months left to collect, the town has already seen $1.1 million.
Last year’s collections through September in Kremmling totaled $950,072, bringing in $1.3 million overall for 2020.
Kremmling looks like it might soon regularly top $100,000 for monthly sales tax collection. In 2019, only August, September and October exceeded $100,000, while seven months — June through December —exceeded that mark in 2020. So far this year, only January and February have not reached $100,000 and they were only short by a few grand.
August was Kremmling’s best ever month at $160,700. All months this year have been up compared to 2020.
As for Fraser, sales tax is up 14.8% year to date at $3.2 million. September was the town’s best ever month at $439,708, and all months in 2021 has been up compared to the same months in 2020.
And finally, even Hot Sulphur Springs has seen an improved year for sales tax collection. The town with the smallest budget in Grand County has seen $161,524 year to date, up 8% compared to the same time period in 2020. Sales tax for Hot Sulphur totaled $183,597 last year.
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