Who would have thought you could examine trash and link it to sales tax, well in Sevier County, CO they did!  After analyzing local landfills, waste management concluded that higher than average garbage levels could only mean increased tourism.  According to Tom Leonard of Sevier Solid Waste, “When there are more tourists in town, we’re going to see a larger volume of restaurant waste.”

So what led to increased tourism?  Well many local businesses believe that the gulf oil spill directed tourists to vacation in other states. Colorado tourism officials claim the combination of recent sales tax numbers and the smelly indicator of garbage prove business owners right.

It only makes sense that summer tourists would seek alternate destinations when planning their trips, even though little oil reached the sandy beaches of the south.  It seems as though Colorado’s Department of Revenue (DOR) benefited from the decline in tourism in the southern states of the US. When comparing the month of June over last June, Sevier County, CO collected $500,000 more in local sales tax revenue.

Other states have also profited from the gulf oil spill.  Sales tax numbers reported by the Tennessee Department of Revenue (DOR) backs up the trash theory.

Businesses in both locations have indicated that tourism bookings have remained strong and will most likely continue through the end of the year.  So sales tax revenue will continue to increase and help spur local economies.

Sevier County, CO business owners don’t forget to file the increased sales tax dollars with your local sales tax jurisdictions!  Not sure which jurisdictions apply?  Use Avalara’s AvaRates to be sure you are accurately applying sales tax rates.