Friday, April 9, 2010

For LOT, February was a bust

Month falls well short of 10-year average


By TREVON MILLIARD
Express Staff Writer

Ketchum’s local option tax collections for every February dating back to 1999, in 2010 dollars. Express graphic by Coly McCauley

The reins of the recession aren't loosening their pull on Ketchum businesses.

According to the city's latest local option tax figures for business done in February, the straps are actually a little tighter than a year ago.

The city collected about $129,000 in sales taxes, $16,000 less than the $145,000 collected in February 2009. That's an 11 percent decrease in business, but the big picture shows an even further decline. February sales taxes were 34 percent short of the month's decade-long average of $197,000, with inflation taken into consideration for past years.

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It was actually the worst February of any back to 1999. The closest, besides February 2009, was February 2003 when $175,000 was collected, in 2010 dollars.

Sales taxes come from a 2 percent tax on lodging and by-the-glass liquor sales, and a 1 percent tax on retail sales and building materials.

Ketchum divides sales taxes into five categories, and all fell short of their long-term averages. Taxes from condo rentals were down 55 percent, building 44 percent, hotel rooms 30 percent, "other retail" 20 percent and liquor 3 percent.

Trevon Milliard: tmilliard@mtexpress.com




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