Payson Sales Tax Revenues Up $1.13 Million

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The Town of Payson made close to $1.2 million more in sales tax revenue this past fiscal year than it made in the 2004-2005 fiscal year.

According to statistics from the town, Payson made $6.72 million this past fiscal year, in comparison to the $5.59 million that was earned in 2004-2005.

Payson sales tax this past year increased 20.2 percent. The next highest percentage increase in the last 18 years was in 1994-95 when the amount of sales tax increased by 19.6 percent.

In 2004-2005, sales tax that the town generated increased by 5.3 percent from the previous year.

The sales tax for Payson is 2 percent, and Finance Director Glen Smith said this tax is applied to any retail sale, including restaurants, retail stores and construction.

Smith said he does not know for sure why Payson made so much more than the past year in sales taxes. There has been an increase on the amounts the town has received every year for more than a decade, but not to the level of the past year.

Smith said there had to be more activity, adding he was pleasantly surprised at the final numbers.

"It's higher than I thought it would be," he said, adding he knew the numbers would be higher than 2004-05.

"I prefer to be on the low side of my projections," he said. "It's always good to be conservative."

The finance director thinks tourism played a big role in the sales tax increase this past year.

Smith added that every year is different when looking at sales tax figures.

The bed tax figures, he said, reveal that the sales tax figures are most likely caused by tourism.

The town receives 3 percent on bed sales tax, and he said this "transitional" tax is running higher at about 20 percent and is currently maintaining at that same level.

The 3 percent bed sales tax is in addition to the 2 percent sales tax that the town imposes.

A bed tax is imposed for any type of lodging in the town for less than 30 days.

He said if people are staying in town in a motel, chances are they will be spending money at local businesses.

"They go places and do things," Smith said, adding that there are many people who shop in the town before proceeding to their favorite camping location.

"You know when you see (thousands of) cars coming through on a weekend, that some will be stopping," he said. He added the figures were good news to him and the town.

Local residents, he added, could be spending more as well.

The revenue the town receives from this tax is deposited into the town's investment pool, which is then used to pay bills.

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