Lead exceeds $750K sales tax projection

Shoppers peruse the many treasures on Lead’s Main Street. Lead city officials have reported that, at $756,000, sales tax revenue has already met the city’s budgeted amount for the year. Pioneer photo by Wendy Pitlick

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LEAD — Sales tax collections in the city of Lead are a full $250,000 more than they were at this time last year. With five months left of revenue still to be realized, the city has already collected its budgeted amount for the year.

“That’s amazing,” said Sierra Ward, executive director of the Lead Area Chamber of Commerce. “I have had a lot of people ask me about Lead and how Lead has been doing post-COVID closures and I have said very positively that everything is open. We didn’t see anybody go out of business. I feel very encouraged that everybody was able to hang on.”

Lead City Administrator Mike Stahl announced that July sales tax collections were at $207,000, nearly $100,000 more than last year in the same month.

“It was a month like I’ve never seen before in the city of Lead,” Stahl said of the July sales taxes.

Last year the city of lead projected it would collect $750,000 in sales taxes. So far this year the city has realized $756,000 in sales tax revenue, with five months left to go in the year. In 2019 the city ended the year with just over $1 million in sales taxes.  

Stahl said the increase could be attributed to a number of factors, including construction at the Sanford Lab. Large tourism numbers could also contribute to the higher collections.

Carol Oolman, owner of Miners & Merchants Trading Post on Main Street, said her numbers are way up from last year and most of the people she sees are tourists.

“We have seen a big influx from Minnesota,” she said. “The last couple of weeks probably 60 to 70 percent of the people I’ve seen are from Minnesota and people are saying it’s because their state is shut down. So, they’re coming out here.”

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