With a month left to go in 2022, the Town of Winthrop is already having a banner year in revenues from hotel/motel occupancy taxes and retails sales taxes — both of which are indicators of a healthy tourism economy.
At their meeting last week, the Town Council received an update on tax revenues through November 2022. Retail sales and use taxes amounted to $581,570, compared to $484,125 through November 2021. Those taxes go into the town’s general operational budget.
Revenues from the stadium hotel/motel tax totaled $190,557 through November of this year, compared to $130,700 through November 2021. Those taxes mostly support the town’s public restrooms and operations at the Winthrop Barn.
The 3% hotel/motel tax collections came to $285,725 through the first 11 months of this year, compared to $230,084 for the same period in 2021. Those proceeds are administered by the town’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, and must be used to promote tourism-related events and activities.
With a month to go, and an active outdoor recreation season underway, those tax collections are likely to again set records.
In other business at last week’s meeting, the council:
• adopted the 2023 operating budget of $6.44 million. A public hearing on the proposed budget was held on Nov. 16.
• approved an interlocal cooperative agreement with Okanogan County to provide $100,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to pay for the design of a new water line under the Methow River Bridge. The water line, which dates back 1965, is deteriorated and getting by with temporary repairs. The town is also in line for a congressional appropriate to construct the new water line, but that hasn’t happened yet. “We are hopeful that the appropriation will occur soon,” Public Works Director Jeff Sarvis said in a memo to the council.
Approval of the agreement with the county “will allow the design to be complete so the project is ‘shovel ready,’” Sarvis said.
• approved a $100,256 contract with Varela Associates to do the water line design that is being financed with the ARPA funds through the county.
• renewed the town’s operational agreement with the North Central Washington Narcotics Task Force. Winthrop’s contribution will be $2,300 in 2023.