Colorado Springs’ sales tax revenue bounced back to a solid gain in February after a lackluster January, the city’s Finance Department reported.
Collections last month from the city’s 2 percent sales tax, reflecting sales in January, rose 6.9 percent over February 2018 collections, reaching $12.6 million despite the partial federal government shutdown that had thousands of federal workers going without paychecks for most of January. That’s more than double January’s 3.1 percent increase from January 2018, which followed a strong start to holiday sales in December, when collections surged nearly 11 percent from December 2017.
“This is nice to see after the weak January. Overall, it confirms that the local economy is holding up better than the national economy,” said Tatiana Bailey, director of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Economic Forum.
The overall revenue total was bolstered by gains of more than 20 percent in business services, commercial machines and hotels as well as a 13.7 percent rise in tax collected on building materials.
Five categories broken out by the city, led by the catch-all “other retail” category, declined from February 2018.
The city’s 2 percent tax is paid on purchases ranging from cars and business equipment to televisions and appliances, and it pays for more than half of city spending for police, fire, parks and other services.
The city also collects special taxes for road repair, public safety and trails, open space and parks.
Other highlights from the report:
• The city’s tax on hotel rooms and rental cars in February surged by 26.1 percent from February 2018, the second consecutive month of an increase of more than 20 percent and the biggest gain since April 2017.
• Revenue from the city’s use tax, paid on equipment and machinery bought outside the Springs, jumped 16.5 percent from February 2018 to $1.02 million, the second time it has totaled more than $1 million since January 2018.
• Collections of the city’s road repair sales tax were up 7.5 percent from February 2018, hitting $4.23 million.
Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234