Colorado Springs sales tax collections jumped for a third consecutive month in November, getting a major boost from the housing construction industry, the city reported Wednesday.
The November collections, totaling $9.87 million, reflect purchases made in October and were up 9.89 percent from a year earlier,; that’s the biggest year-over-year jump since March and a record for the month. Sales tax collections so far this year are up 5.79 percent from a year ago and are on track to break the 2007 record for an entire year.
Collections of use tax in November fell 6.37 percent from a year ago; use tax is collected on manufacturing equipment, building materials and other items bought outside the city for use in the city. Combined sales and use tax collections for November were up 8.84 percent from a year ago to $10.5 million.
Sales and use tax collections fund more than half of the city’s annual budget for police and fire protection, roads and other services. Sales tax collections also are a primary measurement of consumer spending, making it a key barometer of the local economy.
The breakdown: Categories showing the greatest percentage increases in November were building materials, up 38.65 percent; sales of commercial machines, up 28.48 percent; and sales of furniture, appliances and electronics, up 9.59 percent. No category was down from a year ago, although sales at department and discount stores were the weakest, up just 1.14 percent.
Analysis: “The gains seem to be broad-based across many retail industries, but the large increases in building materials, furniture, appliances and electronics indicate the city also is beginning to see the benefits from rebuilding homes destroyed in the Waldo Canyon fire,” said Fred Crowley, senior economist for the Southern Colorado Economic Forum.
Medical marijuana: Sales tax collections from medical marijuana businesses in November were up 58.92 percent from a year ago to $97,641. So far this year, medical marijuana businesses have paid $891,198 in sales taxes, up 38.82 percent from the same period a year ago.
Tourism tax: November collections from the city’s tax on hotel rooms and rental cars rose from a year ago for the first time since July. The November total was up 7.47 percent from a year earlier to $358,882; but the total so far this year is off 1.76 percent from 2011.
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