Winter Park, Fraser continue to see drop in sales tax collections
May 25, 2009
In ski resort communities, March is the big economic indicator for the year. March is typically the biggest month for tourism and business owners count on profits from that month to carry them through mud season.
Sales tax numbers are in for Winter Park and Fraser for the first quarter of the year and both towns are facing considerable drops from the same time last year.
In March, Winter Park sales tax collections were down 21.9 percent overall. The biggest hit was in retail, which was down for the month 27.3 percent, according to a memo to the Winter Park Town Council from Finance Director Bill Wengert.
For the first quarter, Winter Park was down 17 percent from the same time last year.
“The downtown area was the worst hit in March,” Wengert said. “And over the year the ski area was hit pretty hard in March.”
Winter Park is expecting a $600,000 shortfall this year in sales tax collections. The town staff and council has budgeted for the shortfall.
“Nothing has changed in our projections,” said Winter Park Town Manager Drew Nelson. “We expected this to be the case.”
In Fraser, sales tax collections were down in March by 13.9 percent from last year. Year to date, Fraser is down 12.5 percent.
“I am anticipating a larger than normal hit for the end of April, first part of May, since it seems everyone along with their dogs vacated the community at that time,” Fraser Finance Director Nat Havens wrote in a memo to the Fraser Board of Trustees.