A view of downtown Montrose

A view of downtown Montrose on July 5, 2019. 

Following an 8% increase in the City of Montrose’s total collected use and sales tax from 2019 to 2020, up-to-date figures suggest another considerable increase is in store at the end of 2021 — though much higher this time.

Through June 2021, the city’s total collected use and sales tax is up 25.2%, a jump from $8.8 million to $11 million. It would mark the highest year-to-year increase since 2015 (10.3%). It’s also a massive turnaround from a four-year stretch (2008-2012) when the city’s collected use and sales tax figures decreased year-to-year, though it wasn’t collecting the public safety sales tax, at 0.58%, which was added after being approved by local voters in 2019.

The retail sales tax has been at the forefront of the increase, jumping 22.5% (from $8 million to $9.8 million) through June 2021. With COVID-19-related restrictions lifted across the state, there haven’t been any decreases so far. Rather, local businesses have reported strong back-to-back quarters (Q1 and Q2) in the retail sector, though finding employees hasn’t been as swift.

The use and auto tax (collected at 3%) is up 45.4% through June, increasing month-to-month and at a yearly-high of $142,970. For June, the increase from 2020 was 5.6%, much less than the 80% increases in April and May earlier in the year, but summer typically acts as a busy season for use and auto tax.

The county, which collects auto and use tax for the city after vehicles are registered or renewed, reported a record high for the month of July ($158,990.73). County Clerk and Recorder Tressa Guynes, early last month, said August could reveal one of the highest collections to date.

Geography wise in Montrose, it’s a complete sweep across the board. Downtown, North, Mid and South Townsend and East Main are all well above figures from 2020 in total taxable retail sales.

The hotel and restaurant excise tax is one sector that’s experienced massive returns compared to the same time period last year, when effects from the pandemic limited travel and forced eateries to pivot to take-out centric approaches. After a 1.1% decrease in January 2020 to January 2021, collected hotel and restaurant tax has outpaced figures from 2020. Through June, it’s up 34.2%, sitting at $319,981 compared to $238, 495 (through June 2020).

The returns mirror what’s been a busy tourist season — businesses on or near Main Street like Storm King Distilling and Cimarron Coffee Roasters have said they’ve seen tourists come through all summer. Country Lodge, located on East Main Street, was sold out every night in June and July, owner Jeff Anderson said.

Home base businesses, which are contributing to the county’s increase in new business filings from year-to-year, experienced the second-best month this year in June, hovering just below $300,000 in taxable retail sales. There was a decrease from 2020 to 2021 in May (and January), with steady increases in February and April.

To view the full report, visit cityofmontrose.org.

Josue Perez is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press

Josue Perez is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press

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