Local News

Shoppers see sales tax increase in El Paso County

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - Shoppers in El Paso County saw a sales tax increase on Tuesday on certain items.

The county's sales tax increased by just under a quarter of 1 percent at the start of the New Year after voters passed Ballot Measure 1A in November. The county's sales tax was previously $1 for every $100 spent; now it will be $1.23 for every $100 spent.

The Glassblowers of Manitou's store manager, Debbie Cohen, said the company updated its cash registers on Tuesday morning to account for the new sales tax increase.

Cohen said shoppers keep a watchful eye on sales taxes.

"I have a lot of people asking about our taxes here, especially people from out of state, and they go, 'Oh my gosh, [the taxes are] so high," said Cohen.

She said it's too early to determine if this new sales tax will affect the company's bottom line.

She said in the past, tax hikes didn't deter shoppers.

Mark Sifrit was one of those undeterred shoppers. He said it won't impact his spending habits.

"I don't think so. It's small enough that it won't affect anything," said Sifrit.

In November, the sheriff told the Board of Commissioners his office was in crisis mood and needed more money in the areas of criminal justice, law enforcement and emergency response. Ultimately, voters agreed by passing Ballot Measure 1A.

The 23-cent increase will raise about $17 million a year for the Sheriff's Office.

Shopper Molly Vedral voted in favor of the ballot measure. She pointed out that sheriff's deputies and police officers take too long to respond in emergency situations because the department is under-staffed. She said this funding was necessary to shorten that time.

"I'm fine as long as it goes to good programs," said Vedral.

The sales tax will not apply to things like groceries, medication, utilities or gasoline.


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