Colorado Springs sales tax collections rose again last month, another sign of a strong local economy in which consumers and businesses continue to spend.
In November, the city collected $13.8 million in revenue from its sales tax, up 6.8 percent over the same month last year, according to a report released Tuesday by the Colorado Springs Finance Department. November’s revenues reflect purchases made in October.
The city has seen year-over-year gains in sales tax revenues each month during 2018. Year to date, the city has collected $140.1 million — a nearly 7 percent jump from the same period in 2017.
Colorado Springs levies a 2 percent sales tax on items such as cars, TVs and appliances — goods and services other than food and prescription drugs. The tax pays for more than half of the general fund budget, which includes police and fire protection, parks and other basic services.
The steady sales tax revenue gains show that consumer and business confidence remain high, economists and city officials have said. Builders are constructing homes at the fastest pace in 13 years; the local unemployment rate is just under 4 percent; and home prices set a handful of record highs this year as industry publications have ranked the Springs as one of the nation’s hottest housing markets.
Other highlights of the November report include:
• Several key retail categories saw sizable gains. Among them: purchases of furniture, appliances and electronics rose 19.5 percent on a year-over-year basis; building materials were up 18.9 percent; auto repairs and leases increased 12.4 percent; department and discount stores gained 5.1 percent; and restaurant sales climbed 4.6 percent.
• The city’s 2 percent tax on hotel rooms and its 1 percent tax on auto rentals generated more than $600,000, an 8.1 percent increase over November 2017. Much of the lodging and auto rental tax is paid by tourists; the latest gains indicate visitors still are coming to the Springs.
• The city’s road repair sales tax — a separate levy approved by voters in 2015 — generated $4.7 million in November, an 11 percent increase over the same month last year.