Springs’ sales and use tax collections slightly higher than projected

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Hotels saw the biggest leap in sales tax collected in October over the previous month, according the city’s October sales and use tax report.

Hotels saw a 20.9 percent increase in tax collections.

The Lodger’s and Auto Rental Tax collection was up 11 percent over last October, which really represents all of the activity through the end of September.  LART receipts for 2011 are expected to be $3.9 million compared to $4.2 million collected in 2007, which was considered a peak year. So far, tax collections, are up slightly higher than projected.

Overall, the city collected $10.8 million in October, which is a 3.9 percent increase over last October, but still not as high as October 2007 collections – a peak year.

The medical marijuana industry has collected $580,533 in sales taxes so far this year. That’s a 52 percent increase over last year’s collections, but still one of the city’s smallest industries. Still, it’s a sign that the industry is growing said Mark Slaugh, CEO of iComply, an organization that works on compliance and regulations with medical marijuana businesses.

“Colorado Springs is fortunate to collect public revenues during hard economic times rather than relegating this market to violent and power hungry cartels that dominate black markets,” Slaugh said. “Health and wellness trends continue to rise for the baby boomer generation and cannabis provides an effective alternative to harmful prescription drugs for thousands of patients.”

The increases are good news for the overall sales and use taxes collections, which represent more than 50 percent of the city’s general fund and covers expenses for police, fire, street repair and park maintenance.

Overall, the city has projected a 2.5 percent increase in sales and use tax collections this year over last year. This summer’s events including the U.S. Women’s Open at The Broadmoor, the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, the Rocky Mountain State Games and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge bike race were key events in July and August that brought visitors to town.