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Receipts from local-option taxes in Ketchum continue to rebound from a downturn during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

In May, Ketchum businesses collected $204,477 in local-option taxes, up approximately $99,000—or 94%—from collections in May 2020. The funds were remitted to the city in June.

LOT collections were up 211% the previous month.

Through the first nine months of fiscal year 2021—which runs from Oct. 1, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2021—the city has collected $2,229,895 in local-option taxes, up $479,226—or about 27%—over the first nine months of fiscal year 2020. The numbers represent tax receipts collected by Ketchum businesses in September through May that were remitted to the city in October through June.

The city collects a 3% LOT on room sales (including both hotel rooms and short-term rentals), a 3% LOT on by-the-drink liquor sales, and a 2% LOT on general retail sales and building materials (but excluding groceries). The city is authorized by the state to collect the taxes through a law that allows certain resort cities to tax specific sales categories to offset in their budgets the financial impacts of hosting large numbers of visitors. The funds are used to support a variety of city services and projects.

The city has collected $1,951,320 in the first nine months of the fiscal year through the additional voter-approved “1 Percent for Air” tax, which goes to support commercial air service in the Wood River Valley. That’s up about $404,000—or 26%—over the first nine months of the previous fiscal year. Those tax funds are set aside and transferred monthly to the Sun Valley Air Service Board, which allocates the funding to subsidize and market commercial flights into Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey.

In specific LOT categories—excluding collections from the additional tax to support air service—all sectors were up in May, compared to May 2020.

In the retail sales category, businesses in the city collected $124,506 in May, up about 79% over May 2020. Retail receipts have been up every month of this fiscal year. They were up approximately 170% in April.

LOT receipts in the city from hotel-room bills were up significantly from an unusually low collection of only $1,410 in May 2020, when travel was slowed by the pandemic. Hotels brought in $13,085 in LOT revenue in May, an 828% increase. Hotel-room receipts had been down in five months of the fall and winter but rebounded strongly in the spring.

Receipts from condominium rentals were also up significantly in May, with owners collecting $16,177 during the month, up almost 3,200%. Condominium receipts have been up every month of the current fiscal year. They were up approximately 987% in April rentals.

By-the-drink liquor sales were up approximately 70% year-over-year in May, when establishments brought in $14,130 in LOT revenue. April liquor receipts at Ketchum bars were up approximately 1,228%.

Collections from sales of building materials were up approximately 43% in May, when businesses collected $36,578. Building-materials receipts have been up in each of the last seven months.

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