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2013 Sales Tax Report Reflects Steady Recovery

While Fremont County's sales tax collections have been steadily increasing this eight year sales tax chart reflects that the $3.8 million collected in 2013 indicates the county is just now returning to the pre-recession levels of revenue in 2008.

Fears that Fremont County’s sales tax collections would plummet as the result of last summer’s Royal Gorge Park wildfire never materialized to the extent projected.

Fremont County Budget and Finance Officer Sunny Bryant has reported to the Board of County Commissioners that final sales tax numbers for calendar year 2013 show collections up by 0.27% from 2012.Fremont County collected $3,803,086 in Retail Sales taxes during 2013 an amount that was $10,134 more than in 2012.    That amount was also $20,000 more than what was anticipated for sales tax revenue in the 2013 budget.

After the June, 2013 wildfire at the Royal Gorge Park both municipal and county officials worried that the loss of tourism visitors would severely cut into sales tax revenues.    Whatever downturn that resulted from fewer tourist visits to Fremont County was apparently made up by increased retail sales in other sectors.  For example more people appeared to be purchasing new cars and trucks last year.   The Fremont County Auto Use Tax collections report showed a 7.6% increase in 2013 over 2012.   Fremont County collected $724,000 in Auto Use taxes last year.

Meanwhile construction activity across Fremont County continues to lag.   The county collected $181,543 in Construction Use Taxes in 2013 which was $19,500 less than in 2012.

Despite increases in retail sales tax collections during the fourth quarter of 2013 which contributed to positive numbers of the year, Bryant and the Board of Commissioners have chosen to be conservative in the projected sales tax revenue for 2014.    With so many unknowns this spring and summer while the Royal Gorge Park rebuilds, the 2014 Fremont County Budget projects total Sales and Use Tax collections at $4,624,500.   That would be one percent decrease from the sales tax revenues that were budgeted for in 2013.