Friday, June 5, 2009

Ketchum LOT continues to decline

Tax receipts drop for 8th straight month

Express Staff Writer

Given the downward trend of Ketchum's local option tax receipts this fiscal year, it's not much of a surprise that April's tax revenues marked the eighth straight month of decline when compared to last year.

In what is traditionally one of the slowest months of the year for tourism in the Wood River Valley, April brought in $71,249 in LOT receipts to Ketchum, a 32 percent drop from the same month one year previous.

Ketchum imposes a 2 percent sales tax on lodging and by-the-glass liquor sales, and a 1 percent tax on retail sales and building materials, with the goal of offsetting the impacts of tourism on city services and infrastructure.

LOT figures are one of the primary gauges of the success of the local economy.

The total for the first three-quarters of the fiscal year, which for LOT runs from September through August, stands at $1.01 million, down from the $1.33 million for the same period last year.

The lone bright spot in April was a 121 percent increase in receipts from condominium rentals. However, the increase represents a mere $338.

The other segments all took significant hits, with building materials leading the way with a 52 percent decrease, bringing in $15,260 less than April 2008.

Retail receipts had the greatest nominal drop, netting $16,301 less than last April for a total of $45,076.

So far this year, Ketchum's LOT revenue is $370,661 less than what was budgeted by the city at the beginning of the fiscal year.

Jon Duval:

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