TAXABLE SALES REPORTED TO Wyoming’s Department of Revenue and Taxation in April totaled a stunning $139.9 million, a jaw-dropping 60% increase over the lag of about a month that usually separates actual sales and when taxes are reported by the state, so April’s number generally reflects sales in March. This explains much of why the growth was so big: March 2020 was the month COVID-19 arrived in Jackson Hole, so the April 2020 figure was way down. Throw in a full month of tourism and a lot of construction and you get April’s really big number. During fiscal year ending in April all of Teton County’s taxable sales totaled $1.596 billion, 3.8% 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 April 1998. The April 2021 number was so strong that the 12-month running total figure is now above where it was a year ago. In short, the pandemic crushed the local taxable sales economy for about half a year, and in the last half year it’s come roaring back.

Source: State of Wyoming

RETAIL SALES ARE THE BIGGEST CATEGORY of Teton County’s total taxable sales. Retail sales reported in April totaled $51.5 million, 52% higher than the figure reported in April 2020. Retail sales reported during the fiscal year ending in April totaled $684 million. This is the highest-ever total for retail, and an 11.9% increase over the previous 12 months. Sadly for local merchants, the single biggest growth area in retail has been online sales, not ones made by local stores.

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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