Buena Vista – The Buena Vista Board of Trustees has been concerned about what the economy in a town with a business community built around outdoor recreation would look like during a period of stay-at-home mandates.

They got their first look at the data when Town Treasurer Michelle Stoke presented sales tax remittance amounts for April at the board’s Tuesday meeting.

The results aren’t bad, with BV taking in 6.62 percent more in April 2020 than it did in the same month in 2019.

Measures promoting social isolation and limiting public gatherings were at their height throughout April, with only essential businesses allowed to open.

However, Buena Vista recorded $228,453 in sales tax receipts that month, compared to $214,261.39 in April 2019.

Between 2018 and 2019, April grew by 9.7 percent, and from 2017-2018, the month saw an increase of 14.7 percent.

This April’s returns are 2.52 percent above projected revenue for that month in the 2020 budget.

Thanks to a big year-to-year increase in January and almost summer-like revenues in February, thanks primarily to correction of an error in how sales tax is remitted to the town from the state, sales tax returns for this year to date are 27.58 percent higher than they were during the same four-month period in 2019 and 22.68 percent over the year-to-date budget.

In April, trustees approved a plan to strip down operations and expenses in anticipation of a revenue shortfall of 21.5 percent over the entire year due to COVID-19.

Stoke said in her report on April sales tax returns that “staff is waiting to see how the next few months compare to 2019 before making recommendations regarding the budget thus far.”

In April, sales tax collections attributed to remote sellers comprised 21 percent of total remittances. In April 2019, 11 percent of sales tax was attributed to remote sellers.

The Chaffee County Times in Buena Vista is published by Arkansas Valley Publishing Co., parent company of The Mountain Mail.

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