Sales tax revenues up, well ahead of budget
By Benjamin Graham, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Date: January 8, 2013
Sales tax collections for the town of Jackson continued to inch up in the first half of the fiscal year.
The town added $537,000 to its coffers this month from its share of state sales tax revenue collected in November, according to a report from the town’s finance department. That marks a 6.3 percent increase from the same month a year ago.
From July to November, the town took in 7.2 percent more in sales tax revenue than the same time period in FY 2011-12.
While a few months during this fiscal year have produced less revenue than the year before, this month’s report continues to show an upward trend. Last year, the town finished $27,000 ahead of the year before.
If current trends hold, Jackson could do even better in 2013. With five months left before the budget year ends, the town has brought in $747,000 more in revenue than expected, putting the sales tax total at $6.7 million so far.
Much of this year’s strong showing can be attributed to high collections during last summer’s tourist season.
The growing year-to-date total is welcome news for town officials. But they still plan to budget conservatively for next year.
“We’re going to budget for slow and consistent growth and sales tax revenue,” said Kent Meredith, the town’s new finance director.
Revenue dropped off abruptly between 2009 and 2010, falling nearly 14 percent. Since then, collections have steadied and increased incrementally each year.
Town budgets project bringing in $9.6 million in sales tax for the year, compared with $9.32 million in 2012, $9.29 million in 2011 and $9.1 million in 2010.
Meredith expects town leaders to budget for a 3 percent increase in sales tax revenue next year.