Jackson’s sales tax income shows big June increase
By Benjamin Graham, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
August 11, 2012
After a sluggish start to the fiscal year, the town of Jackson raked in sales tax revenue this month that nearly matches pre-recession collections.
The town’s share of sales tax revenue distributed by the state in August, which comes from taxes collected in June, was $865,000, the largest amount for the month since 2009.
For the same month last year, the town pulled in only $595,000.
The increase of $270,000 — 45 percent — marks the largest year-to-year change in sales tax for a single month since the recession hit Jackson Hole. It indicates a strong start to the summer tourism season, town officials said.
The jump in collections is more impressive in light of the new way the town and county split sales tax money.
After the 2010 Census found growth had led to a greater percentage of county population living in unincorporated areas, the town’s share of sales tax distributions was cut by 5 percent.
Using the pre-census percentage split, revenue distributed by the state in August this year would surpass 2009 levels. Sales tax revenue for the town dropped off significantly after that year when the economic downturn reached Jackson.
A strong performance for the beginning of summer should be welcome news to town officials, who budgeted for an increase in sales tax revenue but saw a slight decrease in revenues distributed by the state in July, the first month of the fiscal year.
“You can’t look at this a month at a time,” Town Manager Bob McLaurin said. “Hopefully, we’re trending in the right direction.”
For the 2013 fiscal year, which lasts from July 2012 to June 2013, officials anticipate bringing in $9.6 million in sales tax. The town totaled $9.3 million from the tax for the 2012 fiscal year.
Through the first two months of this fiscal year, the tax returned by the state has totaled $1.3 million, compared to $1.1 million in the same period last year.
Sales tax revenues make up about two-thirds of the town’s general fund, which is used to pay for Jackson’s day-to-day operations, such as the police department and public works.