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The City of Golden collected the most sales tax ever in 2021, hauling in a hefty $20 million, according to Robin Fleischmann, economic development coordinator for the city.

“This is the best year in the city’s history, far exceeding expectations,” she said. “And that means overall our business sector is doing really, really well.”

Sales tax collections for 2021 were up by 24.4% over 2020.

According to the city’s year-end sales tax report, there are several reasons for the increase.

The most significant boost came from taxes collected by remote sellers like Amazon and Wayfair; rebounds from 2020 COVID restrictions in the hotel and restaurant sectors, new businesses like Golden Mill, and changes in spending patterns to more durable goods and home improvements.

Although use tax collections for December were down $200,594, a 20.5% drop, it is still the second-highest use tax month in city history.

Automotive and utilities also showed increases.

“Prices are also up due to inflation which means there is higher sales tax revenue,” added Fleishmann.

While the city is pleased, it remains conservative about 2022, budgeting only $18,540,000 in tax revenue to establish realistic expectations.

While vacation and entertainment spending patterns are expected to return, the city thinks sales tax for 2022 should exceed the budget, although it may not reach that of 2021.

“Stuff is happening in Golden and other places,” said Fleishmann. “Although businesses are still having hiring issues and supply chain issues, you could not ask for a better sales tax report as a sign of what’s happening in our community.”