City reports increased sales tax collections

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Sales tax collections continue to increase in Grand Junction, reflecting what one city official describes as a strengthening and growing economy.

“Clearly, it’s all positive,” said Jodi Romero, finance director for the City of Grand Junction.

The city reported collecting a total of nearly $5 million in sales and use taxes in April. That’s an increase of $567,100 and 12.9 percent increase over collections for the same month in 2017. April collections reflect March sales.

City sales tax collections increased $386,500 or 10.2 percent. The share of sales tax the city receives from Mesa County increased even more. Use tax collections, a smaller and more volatile source of revenue for the city, rose $29,878 or 20.8 percent.

Collections rose on a year-over-year basis in every industry category but one, Romero said, with the biggest gains in the construction, motor vehicle and energy sectors.

Collections were down in the category for grocery and drug stores, a decline Romero attributed to the closure of an Albertson’s store in Grand Junction that was still in operation at this time last year. Taking that difference out of the calculation, though, tax collections for the category actually increased, she said.

Through the first four months of 2018, the city reported collecting a total of more than $18.2 million in sales and use taxes. That’s an increase of more than $1.6 million and 9.8 percent over the same span in 2017.

Year-to-date city sales tax collections rose nearly $1.3 million or 9.1 percent. The share of sales tax the city receives from Mesa County increased even more. Use tax collections slipped $5,442 or 1 percent.

Romero said rising sales tax collections reflect improving labor and economic conditions as well as growing consumer confidence.

The city initially budgeted for a 1 percent increase in sales tax collections during 2018. Romero said projections likely will be revised upward to what she still considers a conservative 4 percent, although budgeted spending won’t necessarily increase.

Lodging tax collections, a measure of hotel and motel stays in Grand Junction, totaled $106,457 in April, an increase of $4,874 and 4.8 percent over the same month last year.

Through the first four months of 2018, lodging tax collections totaled $317,900. That’s a gain of $18,925 and 6.3 percent over the same span in 2017.