2010 not off to a good start, as January revenue drops 13.5 percent from 2009, with critical months coming up
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Sales tax revenues collected at Keystone and Copper Mountain, and across the rest of unincorporated Summit County, continued to decline in December and January, according to county finance director Marty Ferris, who recently completed the final tally for 2009.
December 2009 was down 14.5 percent from 2008, which, in turn was down 24 percent from 2007. The county’s December sales tax revenues have dropped 38.5 percent from two years ago during one of the key months of the year.
March is the single biggest month for tax collections, with December, January and February following close behind. About 45 percent of the county’s annual sales tax revenues are collected in the first three months of the year, Ferris said.
About 55 percent of those taxes come from resort-related businesses at Keystone and Copper Mountain, with the rest spread across other parts of unincoporated Summit County, including the Farmer’s Korner area and Wildernest.
For all of 2009, revenues were down about 18 percent to a level last seen in 2004, according to Ferris. And 2010 isn’t off to a great start. January was down 13.5 percent from last year, which will lead to some more budget discussions during an upcoming county commissioner retreat.
For now, the county is not talking about additional cuts, but the commissioners will watch the numbers for the latter part of the season closely to see if any adjustments are needed. When they put the budget together last autumn, the hope was that this year wouldn’t get any worse.
“Our expenses are budgeted pretty tightly,” Ferris said, explaining that there’s not a lot of room to make cuts. One area the county could look at is the general fund balance, which the commissioners had hoped to bolster this year, Ferris said. Beyond that, the elected leaders and staff will likely brainstorm contingency plans for a worst-case scenario, she concluded.