Friday, May 6, 2011

Retail, liquor lead the way in LOT

Ketchum tax receipts up for March business

Express Staff Writer

Ketchum's local-option taxes collected in April for business conducted in March show an 18 percent increase over the same month last year.

"That's good news," said City Administrator Gary Marks.

Receipts show a collection total of $144,198, compared with $113,954 collected for March 2010.

However, Marks said, "if you take River Run out, these numbers change pretty dramatically."

The city annexed the River Run base area into Ketchum last year, so most of this fiscal year, which began in October, includes receipts from lift tickets, liquor sales and merchandise sold at River Run. So comparing LOT receipts from this fiscal year to last can be misleading.

The news is still good, though, because even without those numbers, receipts are "still on the upside," Marks said.

Ketchum charges a 2 percent sales tax on by-the-glass liquor sales and lodging—including hotel rooms and condos—and a 1 percent tax on retail sales and building materials.

Retail receipts continue to post the highest gains, with liquor sales also showing increases.

"The real horsepower is in the retail," Marks said.

Retail receipts were up 28 percent, from $73,378 to $102,376.

Liquor sales gained nearly 21 percent. Sales in March 2010—as reported in April—were $15,651, as compared with $19,517 this March.

Building materials slid more than 26 percent, going from $13,606 to $9,997.

Room receipts dipped 19 percent, a $1,103 decline. Condo receipts, however, jumped nearly 38 percent, a $2,090 increase.

The next fiscal year will provide a clearer view of the city's economic direction.

"We will be comparing River Run numbers to River Run numbers, so we will have a better gauge of the overall economy," Marks said.

Rebecca Meany:

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