Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hailey LOT up for 3rd straight year

Restaurants and alcohol sales back to 2008 levels

Express Staff Writer

Local-option tax revenues have increased in Hailey over the past three years, since dropping 17 percent during fiscal 2009. 

Revenues from restaurant sales and alcoholic-beverage sales in 2012 climbed back to 2008 pre-recession levels.

“I’m pleased with the steady increase, and cautiously optimistic that things are turning around,” said Hailey Treasurer Becky Stokes.

The city levies a 3 percent local-option tax on lodging and rental cars, a 2 percent tax on alcoholic beverages and a 1 percent tax on restaurant food. 

Since the tax was implemented in fall 2006, the LOT has brought in $2.4 million to support public transportation, police, street and park maintenance, and other city services.

The total LOT revenue increased 2.7 percent between fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2012, from $324,500 to $337,000.

The increase of revenue from 56 businesses that offer restaurant food and/or alcohol sales increased from $158,000 in 2011 to $163,600 in 2012, surpassing the total back to 2008 levels, the year the recession started.

The LOT revenue from 10 businesses offering lodging and rental cars increased from $158,000 in 2011 to $171,000 in 2012, still down from a high in 2007 of $220,000.

“People are traveling again,” Stokes said. “And people who live here are eating and drinking a bit, too.”

During the past two years, Mayor Fritz Haemmerle has recommended using surplus LOT revenues for beautification projects, including holiday lighting and park improvements.

Tony Evans:




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