Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sun Valley LOT up double digits

May receipts up 17 percent; retail strong

Express Staff Writer

Despite significant declines in liquor and lodging tax receipts, Sun Valley's local-option taxes for the month of May posted a 17 percent increase over the same month last year due to a strong showing in retail.

Sun Valley imposes a 3 percent sales tax on lodging, by-the-glass liquor sales and tickets to events in the city. A 2 percent tax is collected on most retail sales, and a 1 percent tax is levied on ski lift tickets and season passes.

LOT receipts for May totaled $47,474, a 17 percent increase over May 2010 numbers.

"The general trend is improving, very, very moderately, like the national economy," said Sun Valley Mayor Wayne Willich.

There's no "razzle dazzle," he said. "It's just kind of crawling its way out of this hole."

Liquor receipts dropped 28 percent in month-to-month comparisons, collecting just $1,592 this May, but the category is showing just a 2 percent decline so far this fiscal year compared with the same period in 2010.

Liquor receipts have jumped forward and backward this year. April LOT receipts showed a 16 percent increase over April 2010 figures. March, however, showed a 33 percent decline compared with the same month last year.

Lodging receipts also saw a couple of months of declines after a solid spring. Lodging receipts for May dipped 29 percent compared with May 2010, for a total of $6,205. Receipts declined 20 percent in April, but were up 26 percent in March. The category is up 3 percent so far this fiscal year compared with last year.

Retail, the largest category, posted a 33 percent increase in May, with a collection of $39,678. In April, retail receipts slid 24 percent, but they saw a 25 percent gain in March. The category is up 10 percent compared with this time last year.

"The way things are around here, it's almost random," Willich said. "It's wandering all over the place."

Overall, LOT figures are up 7 percent over the same time last year.

Willich feels optimistic about the later summer months, in part due to events such as the inaugural Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival.

"June may not be so good," Willich said. "The month of July is going to be killer."

Rebecca Meany:

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