Mesa County adds to sales tax exemptions

Starting next year, Mesa County will exempt from sales tax everything from farm equipment to machinery to components used to produce energy.

The Mesa County Board of Commissioners voted to amend the sales tax resolution to include all of the sales tax exemptions allowed to counties under state law.

The commissioners said they instituted the additional exemptions to not only simplify the tax collection process for businesses that sell goods, but also to assist those businesses making purchases.

Mesa County assesses a 2 percent sales tax. Of that, 1 percent goes into a capital fund used to pay for the construction of buildings, roads, bridges and other large projects. Of the remaining 1 percent, 0.45 percent goes into a county general fund used for operational expenses and 0.55 goes back to cities and towns in the county. Sales and use tax collections account for about 19 percent of county revenue.

Under the previous resolution, sales of certain foods and fuels were the only categories exempted from county tax.

The additional exemption categories, which take effect Jan. 1, include:

Sales of certain farm equipment and farm equipment under lease or contract as well as certain pesticides.

Sales of certain machinery or machine tools.

Sales of components used in the production of energy, including but not limited to alternating current electricity from a renewable energy source.

Sales of certain low-emitting motor vehicles, power sources or parts used for converting such power sources.

Sales of wood from salvaged trees killed or infested in Colorado by mountain pine beetles.

Vending machine sales of certain foods.

Sales by certain charitable organizations, an association or organization of parents and teachers of public school students that is a charitable organization and sales that benefit a Colorado school.


Phil Castle is editor of the Grand Valley Business Times, a twice-monthly business journal published in Grand Junction. Castle brings to his duties nearly 30 years of experience in editorial management positions with Western Colorado newspapers. In addition, his free-lance work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the Washington Post. He holds a bachelor's degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University.
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