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Rochester, MN(KROC AM) -  Although many of Rochester’s businesses and public venues spent parts of 2020 completely closed and/or operating at reduced capacity, the city’s sales tax collections remained steady.

The city just received 2020’s final numbers and they show total collections during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic were only 3.6-percent lower than the year before.

City Finance Director Dale Martinson says the 2020 total was $12.4-million. He says that compares to around $12.8-million in 2019.

The city’s general sales tax is .5-percent. The city also collects a .25-percent tax for DMC-related projects.

It was a different story for the city’s collection of lodging taxes.

The 2020 total was $5.7-million, almost half the 2019 figure of $10.5-million.

Martinson says numbers show lodging tax collections were off to a good start until the pandemic shutdown order was issued and Mayo Clinic patients were forced to cancel their appointments.

The city’s lodging tax is 7-percent. The money is used to generate tourism and pay debt service for the Mayo Civic Center. Reserves were used to help pay 2020 debt service



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