Another view on ‘Manitou solution’

       Editor's note: The following statement, submitted by Manitou Springs resident Joe Fabeck, quotes from Manitou Springs Finance Officer Mike Leslie, in response to a question from Fabeck about a letter to the Westside Pioneer (“'Manitou solution' is working,” Sept. 16), in which Manitou Springs Economic Development Director Kitty Clemens stated that Manitou had a 13 percent increase in retail sales-tax collections in July.
       Mr. Fabeck:
       Kitty seems to be quoting a figure given during the city staff meeting on the afternoon of Monday, Sept 13. We normally receive our tax report from the Department of Revenue on the 12th and received it that morning. Is the 13 percent July sales tax figure an accurate number? The answer depends upon whether the context to which it was given is included. As stated in the staff meeting, the DOR report indicated taxable sales for July 2004 of $6,050,877 in comparison to $5,338,528 for July 2003. It was stated in the staff meeting that the finance office is aware that there were several delinquent accounts from previous months, some of which were large, paid into the sum represented in the report. Collection timing may skew a monthly report by as much as a few percentage points and this is the case with any given month. It was also emphasized during the staff meeting that the more important figure in the report is the figure representing Year-To-Date taxable sales since that figure will have the tendency to average out most of the timing issues. YTD taxable sales for FY2004 are $24,906,913 compared to $23,588,028 for this period of FY2003, which is a 5.6 percent increase.