Sales tax up in July The town of Mt. Crested Butte finally got some good news from local businesses, which collectively brought in more than $154,000 in sales tax in July, or 9 percent above the amount anticipated for the month in this year’s budget. The month broke records from the last two years for sales tax revenue collected in July.
While the better-than-expected returns in July were encouraging to town manager Joe Fitzpatrick, he said it still wasn’t enough to bring the town back in line with where they hoped they’d be a year ago. “It just wasn’t enough to bring us out of the red,” he said. Sales tax collections are 4.5 percent below this year’s budget and lagging 7.6 percent, or about $68,000, behind what had been collected at this time last year. Compared to last July, sales tax increased this year for lodging, retail and restaurant businesses, while everything else fell slightly. Mt. Crested Butte is already looking to next year, after starting the 2013 budgeting process September 18 in hopes of getting a final vote on the budget and mil levy resolution by December 4. Council gives preliminary approval to new building permit fees The Mt. Crested Butte Town Council had a first reading of an ordinance establishing new building fees, which has been under consideration for more than a month. The new fees were revised to adequately protect the town from unfinished development that can cause safety concerns and have adverse visual impacts on the town. After finding that the town had been undervaluing new building projects, and thereby collecting too little in permit fees to cover the expense of reclaiming a building site or completing the parts of the project visible from the outside, community development director Carlos Velado went to work finding a better solution. The result is a new system of fees that charges 3 percent for projects valued between $50,000 and $750,000, 2.5 percent for projects valued between $750,000 and $2 million, 1.5 percent from $2 million to $3 million and 1 percent for projects worth more than $1 million. Velado also worked out a new formula for miscellaneous permit fees, which are issued for projects like decks and other construction that isn’t covered by the residential building code. The council will have a second reading of the ordinance at their meeting October 16.
Town starts budget process With budget season just around the corner, the Mt. Crested Butte town staff is sitting down to discuss how to make the most of lean revenues. Their plan for the upcoming year has to be submitted for consideration by October 15. A first work session devoted to the budget with the council will come the following day, October 16. Work sessions will also be held November 7 and November 20, with a public hearing scheduled for November 20 at 6 p.m. The council will have a second, and final, reading of the 2013 budget ordinance and have the chance to approve the mill levy resolution at a meeting December 4.