Park City Sees Record-Setting Tax Revenues in June
Park City reported another record-setting month for sales tax revenues last week. June’s numbers were the highest of any June on record.
Official sales tax numbers are released by the Utah State Tax Commission on a two-month delay, and June’s report was one for the record books in Park City.
By the numbers, the month was up 89% over last year, when many COVID-19 restrictions were still in place. Most surprising is that this June also finished up 54% versus a pre-pandemic June 2019, with the city raking in almost $1.2 million in revenue.
With June usually seen as a shoulder season month in Park City, Mayor Andy Beerman expressed excitement during last week’s city council meeting about how the peak summer months of July and August may pan out.
“I can’t get over these numbers for June,” Beerman said. “Having had my own business for many years, June usually is about half of July or August, and this June blew away any July or August we’ve ever had. I’m gonna be really curious to see what July or August looks like.”
Councilor Steve Joyce also expressed astonishment at the most recent report and pointed to tourism as a major driver of the city’s success.
“If you look at transient room tax for June versus 2019, it’s up 137%,” said Joyce.
“I’m gonna say it’s tourism. You don’t have TRT go up 137% and not have, yeah, prices probably went up, but not that up, that’s unbelievable, that’s just astronomical.”
According to the data, FY21 is also up over 10% from FY20. The last few months of FY20 were marred by the economic crash at the onset of the pandemic, but all of FY21 took place during the pandemic.
Ski Utah announced a record year for skier visits during last winter, and the city has outperformed pre-pandemic tax revenues every month since March.
City Manager Mat Dias said he and his staff are digging deeper into the numbers to determine what has been driving Park City’s record-setting year and will report back to the council in the near future.
The city is looking into things like voter registration records, changes in city tax rolls, and student enrollments to help determine how much of the city’s booming economy is due to tourism versus new residents or other factors over the course of the pandemic.
Dias added that revenue collected from online sales are also up and Assistant Budget Director Erik Daenitz is leading the city’s efforts to analyze and share the data.
“There’s been a huge increase in online sales transactions,” said Dias. “Either people that are taking extended stays here, either people that are redecorating, or just in their normal consumption habits are doing more activity online, and [Daenitz is] going to be able to tweeze some of that out.”
July and August sales tax reports will be released by the state tax commission in October and November, respectively. July will also be the first month reported in FY22.