Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ketchum LOT collections down

Midwinter tourism likely affected by snow scarcity

Express Staff Writer

    Local-option tax receipts collected by the city of Ketchum for business done in January show a poor month for the local economy, during a month of dismal snowfall.
    The figures were released by the city on April 10.
    January receipts of $125,975 were down about 11 percent from the past seven-year average for the month of $142,204, and down about 22 percent from the $161,022 collected for January 2013.
    Compared to last year, receipts were down 4.5 percent for room rentals, 44 percent for condominium rentals, 22 percent for liquor by the drink, 48 percent for building materials and 15 percent for other retail.
    The January receipts followed a very good month for business in December, despite the fact that snowfall was very light during that month as well. The LOT collection for business done in December was $262,657, up about 16 percent from the past seven-year average, and the highest since 2008.
    The amount collected for January was $58,972 less than the $184,947 anticipated in the city’s budget. Total LOT collections since the start of fiscal 2014 in October are $179,473 less than budgeted for that period.
    Interim City Administrator Ray Silver said the city is estimating an LOT collection shortfall of $112,000 by the end of the fiscal year in September.
    “We expect better months to be coming up in the summertime,” he said.
    Silver said the shortfall can be made up by using money from the city’s reserve fund, which stands at $918,000.
    He said the city regularly budgets more money from LOT contributions than it actually expects to get due to state law that requires LOT money to be used during the current year or returned to voters.

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