According to Archuleta County Finance Director Larry Walton, the total sales tax collection for August 2015 was $817,251.54, which is $103,836.62 or 14.6 percent higher than the same month in the previous year.
Walton explained that until this month, every month in 2015 has contained a certain amount of back-tax collections, mostly from 2013 and 2014, but the size of these anomalous collections has steadily declined from $98,000 in January to $8,195 in July. There were no back taxes collected in August.
Year-to-date collections for 2015 sales tax are $890,941 or 19.2 percent ahead of 2014, but Walton clarified that $233,395 of that is from back taxes, so the real growth rate so far this year is actually 12.6 percent.
All sales tax generated within the county, regardless of whether it comes from a business within the town limits or not, is split evenly between the town and county. However, the Colorado Department of Revenue continues to disburse all of the local sales tax revenue to the county, despite repeated requests from the town that it receive its share directly. For August, the town’s share was $408,625.77.
During last year’s budget season, the Pagosa Springs Town Council decided to take a chance on Walmart being successful — among other indicators of potential economic growth — and changed its revenue projections for this year’s budget.