December Holiday LOT

Liquor sales took a hit over the holidays, but booming retail more than made up for the deficit.

Receipts from local-option taxes in Ketchum were down in December but remain up for fiscal 2021.

In December, Ketchum businesses collected $339,833 in local-option taxes, down $11,593—or 3.3%—from December 2019.

Through the first four months of the fiscal year—which runs from Oct. 1, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2021—the city has collected $996,984 in local-option taxes, up from $916,642 in the first four months of fiscal 2020. The approximately 8.8% increase accounts for collection of $80,343 more than the previous fiscal year. The numbers represent tax receipts collected by Ketchum businesses in September through December and remitted to the city in October through January.

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 (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 also collects an additional 1% LOT in the same sales sectors through a voter-approved initiative to support commercial air service in the Wood River Valley. 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 air service into Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey.

The city has collected $886,282 in the first four months of the fiscal year through the additional “1 Percent for Air” tax, up about 11% over the same timeframe in the previous fiscal year, when it collected $798,013.

In specific LOT categories—excluding collections from the additional 1% tax to support air service—some sectors were up slightly in December while others dipped sharply from December 2019.

In the retail sales category, businesses in the city collected $236,780 in December, up 2.43% over December 2019. Retail receipts have been up every month of this fiscal year.

LOT receipts in the city from hotel-room bills were down in December, bringing in $17,647, a decrease of 27.3%. Hotel-room receipts were down in September and October but up 65% in November.

Receipts from condominium rentals were up, with owners collecting $34,348 during the month, up 2.18%. Condominium receipts have been up every month of the current fiscal year.

By-the-drink liquor sales were down 39.48%, bringing in $20,024 in December, typically a very busy month for bars and restaurants. November receipts were down 20%.

Collections from sales of building materials were up 5.56% in December, bringing in $30,944. September and October receipts were down slightly, while November receipts were up 40%.

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