Apparently, having fireworks for Independence Day is good for the local economy.
The sales tax revenue received for collections made during the month of July totaled $756,330.71, an increase of $101,958.68 or 15.6 percent compared to July 2013, according to a report received this week by LeeAnn Martin from the Archuleta County Finance Department.
While this was the first summer in three years that the Town of Pagosa Springs was able to proceed with its fireworks display, it was also the first summer in three years without a major forest fire in the area. Jim Miller from the town’s parks department said this has been one of the greenest summers he has experienced here. It’s not just the amount of rainfall, he explained; it is the perfect timing that has allowed for healthy vegetation.
The data in Martin’s report only goes back to the beginning of 2004, but, within that time frame, December 2006 was the only other month to bring in more than $700,000.
All sales tax generated within the county, regardless of whether it comes from a business within town limits or not, is split evenly between the town and county, and although the town now receives its half of sales tax revenue directly from the state, the monthly reports still go to the county’s finance department, which then disseminates the information to the town.
According to Martin’s report, sales tax revenue for July 2013 was $654,372 and for 2012 it was $631,648, which makes the average $643,010 for the same period over the last two years. Consequently, that month’s figure of $756,331 was also above the two-year average, up $113,321 or 17.6 percent.
Similarly, the sales tax revenue for June 2013 was $637,424 and for 2012 it was $637,361, which makes the average $637,393 for the same period over the last two years. Consequently, last month’s figure of $689,798 was also above the two-year average, up $52,405 or 8.22 percent.
Finally, sales tax revenue for May 2013 was $504,611 and for 2012 it was $474,204, which makes the average $489,408 for the same period over the last two years. Consequently, the previous month’s figure of $531,304 was also above the two-year average, up $41,896 or 8.6 percent.
So far this year, February has been the only month to show an over-the-year drop in sales tax collection. As of July, year-to-date revenue is up by 15.58 percent.
Breaking the sales tax report for July down by sector, revenue generated by retail trade — the largest portion of Archuleta County’s economy — went from $316,764 in 2013 to $357,088 in 2014, an increase of $40,324 or 12.7 percent.
The second largest portion of Archuleta County’s economy — accommodations and food service — generated $164,636 worth of revenue, an increase of $22,690 or 16 percent.
Arts, entertainment and recreation — another sector of the local economy largely controlled by the flow of tourism — brought in $9,148 worth of sales tax revenue, an increase of $2,447 or 36.5 percent.
As far as industry sectors related to the housing market, utilities companies contributed $43,298, up $3,162 or 7.9 percent, while real estate and rental revenue garnered $18,585, up $2,645 or 16.6 percent. The construction industry, however, gained the most out of the three, bringing in $21,451, an increase of $9,764 or 83.5 percent.
These are all good indications that Pagosa Country is starting to grow again.
Wholesale trade rose by 18.4 percent to $36,830, while manufacturing went from $36,629 last year to $41,997 this year. Mining was the only local industry to show a decline with $4,479 worth of tax collection, a decrease of $759 or 14.5 percent.
All other industry sectors showed gains over the year.