Basalt’s sales tax revenue soared 9.4% in 2019 compared with the prior year, according to a preliminary report by the town government.
Basalt collected $6.67 million last year compared with $6.09 million in 2018, according to the report by finance director Christy Hemrick. She said some outstanding payments of sales taxes by businesses will likely boost last year’s figure slightly higher.
The $6.67 million is a record amount of salex tax revenue for the town. That’s a big boost for the town coffers because sales taxes supply more than 60% of annual revenue.
Sales tax revenue has increased every year except one for Basalt since 2012.
Retail food establishments — primarily Whole Foods and City Market — generated $2.34 million in revenue, up 3.5%. The grocery stores are the biggest contributor to Basalt’s economy.
General retail stores generated $1.36 million in sales tax revenue, up a robust 37.8%, while sporting goods retail was up 2.9% to a revenue of $224,792.
The restaurant industry had a sluggish 2019. Sales tax revenue by restaurants with bars were flat at $495,140 and restaurants without bars were down 12% to $119,856.
Retail liquor sales produced tax revenue of $261,574 for an increase of 2%.
Tax revenue from sales of building materials soared 26.7% to $458,204, the report showed.
Sales tax revenue from lodging was up a strong 21.2% to $198,318.
Automotive businesses also logged a solid year with an increase in sales revenue produced of 7.1% to $190,843.
Hemrick’s report said the actual sales tax revenue exceeded the budgeted amount by about 5.5%.
“The favorable variance compared to budget is mostly due to the change in online sales tax rules,” she wrote. State law now requires companies that are selling products online to collect sales tax revenue.