A key measure of sales activity continues to increase in Mesa County.
The county reported collecting a total of nearly $3.9 million in sales and use taxes in January, an increase of $255,000 and 7 percent over the same month last year.
Sales tax collections increased 6.3 percent. Use tax collections — nearly all of them on automobiles purchased outside the county, but used in the county — increased 16.7 percent.
Both sales and use tax collections came in well ahead of budget projections for the month.
Over the past four years, January sales and use tax collections for the county have increased 36.8 percent.
January tax collections reflect December sales, including holiday shopping.
January tax collections on retail sales totaled $1.6 million, an 18.1 percent increase over the same month last year. Tax collections on internet sales increased 85.3 percent to nearly $323,000. Collections also increased for every category of retail sales except clothing, which dropped 5.2 percent.
County tax collections rose 24.2 percent on the sale of home improvements to more than $443,000. Collections rose 10.9 percent on the sale of automobiles to almost $399,000 and 27.6 percent on construction materials to more than $52,000
Sales tax collections fell in other categories, however, including a 12.8 percent drop in restaurant meals and hotel stays to almost $334,000. Collections fell 53.6 percent in the oil and natural gas industry and 57.2 percent in the telecommunications industry.
For the 2020 calendar year, Mesa County reported collecting a total of more than $40 million in sales and use taxes. That was an increase of $1.6 million and 4.2 percent over 2019.