Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hailey LOT up from last year

Alcohol sales slightly down

Express Staff Writer

    Hailey’s local option tax revenues for the first seven months of this fiscal year are up 6.5 percent over the same period last year. More revenue has come in from rental cars and hotel rooms, while business at restaurants has risen only slightly. Alcohol sales have dipped slightly.
    “I am cautiously optimistic that things are improving,” said Hailey treasurer Becky Stokes. “We are looking forward to a strong summer.”
    Stokes said if current trends continue, the city would see an increase in LOT collections from $338,268 last fiscal year to $345,255 on Sept. 30, the end of fiscal 2013.
    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.
    Based on LOT receipts through May, hotels and car rentals combined have increased 8 percent over the first seven months of fiscal 2012, indicating that more people are coming to town.
    LOT revenue from Hailey restaurants has risen by slightly less than 2 percent. Alcohol sales in Hailey decreased during the period by less than 1 percent.
    Since the LOT was implemented in fall 2006, it has brought in $2.4 million to support public transportation, police, street and park maintenance, and other city services.
    Stokes said LOT spending this year is budgeted to increase slightly for sidewalk and streets maintenance, remain the same for Mountain Rides and the chamber of commerce, and decrease slightly for emergency services.

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