TAXABLE SALES REPORTED TO WYOMING’S Department of Revenue and Taxation in November totaled $149.3 million, a 30% increase over the amount reported in November 2019. A one-ish-month lag separates actual sales and when taxes are reported by the state, so November’s number generally reflects sales in, give or take, October, i.e., the beginning of the fall shoulder season. Monthly figures can vary wildly, so this number should be taken with a grain of salt. Or in this case a boulder. For example, last month saw a 20% drop, and both extremes are likely the result of October this year ending on a Saturday. During the fiscal year ending in November, all of Teton County’s taxable sales totaled $1.507 billion, 7% lower than during the previous 12 months.

Source: State of Wyoming

LOOKING AT LONGER-TERM TAXABLE SALES trends, the graph above shows the 12-month running totals of Teton County’s total taxable sales since the report of February 1998. In the past decade-plus, total taxable sales peaked in the fall of 2008, went into a precipitous decline until summer 2010 and then stayed relatively flat until the fall of 2011. Since early 2013, total sales have been growing steadily: Between November 2013 and March 2020, total taxable sales grew a total of 53%. In the seven months between March and November 2020, the annual rate of growth has gone from 6.5% to minus 12.6%.

Source: State of Wyoming

RETAIL SALES ARE THE BIGGEST CATEGORY of Teton County’s total taxable sales. Retail sales reported in November totaled $59.9 million, a whopping 24.7% higher than the figure reported in November 2019. As with overall sales, this was an artifact of October 2020 ending on a Saturday, which in turn led to reporting delays: October’s figures were artificially low and November’s artificially high. Retail sales reported during the fiscal year ending in November totaled $603.5 million, a 2.4% increase from the previous 12 months.

Source: State of Wyoming

Jennifer Dorsey is chief copy editor and Business section coordinator. She worked in Washington, D.C., and Chicago before moving to the Tetons.

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