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Ketchum’s local option tax receipts from the fall spiked on the back of strong retail and rental business.

Receipts from local-option taxes are up in the city of Ketchum for the start of fiscal 2021, with some categories showing sharp gains and others showing slight losses.

During the first quarter of the current fiscal year—which runs from Oct. 1, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2021—the city collected $657,152 in local-option taxes, or LOT, up from $565,216 in the first three months of fiscal 2020. The approximately 16.3% increase brought in nearly $92,000 more than the previous fiscal year.

The numbers represent tax receipts collected by businesses in September, October and November that were remitted to the city in October, November and December.

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 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 at Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey.

The city collected $582,745 in the first three months of the fiscal year through the additional “1% for Air” tax, up about 18.3% over the previous fiscal year.

In specific LOT categories—excluding collections from the additional 1% to support air service—some sectors performed strongly while others dipped slightly from fiscal 2020.

In the retail sales category, businesses in the city collected $407,354 in the first quarter of the 2021 fiscal year, up 23.7% over the previous year. Receipts were up for all three months.

LOT receipts in the city from hotel-room bills were down for the period, bringing in $50,936, a decrease of 10.25%. Receipts were down in September and October but up 65% in November.

Meanwhile, receipts from condominium rentals were up significantly. The city collected $43,566 during the quarter in that category, up nearly 50%. September receipts were up 82% from the previous year.

By-the-drink liquor sales were down 2.8%, bringing in $52,204 over the three-month period. November receipts were down 20%.

Collections from sales of building materials were up just over 7% in the first quarter, bringing in $103,093. September and October receipts were down slightly, while November receipts were up 40%.

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