Grand Valley sales tax collections up for now

A key measure of sales activity in the Grand Valley continues to increase, although the latest numbers don’t yet reflect the full effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

The City of Grand Junction and Mesa County both reported year-over-year increases in sales tax collections in March. March reports reflect February sales.

The city collected a total of more than $3.9 million in sales and use tax collections in March, an increase of more than $64,000  and 1.7 percent over the same month last year. City sales tax collections increased 2.1 percent. Use tax collections, a far smaller and more volatile source of revenue, dropped 33.3 percent.

The county collected a total of more than $2.8 million in sales and use taxes in March. That’s an increase of more than $221,000 and 8.5 percent over the same month last year. Sales tax collections rose 12.5 percent. Use tax collections — most on automobile purchased outside the county but used in the county — fell 26.3 percent.

County sales tax collections increased 25 percent on retail sales in March compared to the same month last year. Sales tax collections also increased in the auto, home improvement, hotel and restaurant and telecommunications categories. Collections fell 61.5 percent in the oil and natural gas category.

For the first quarter of 2020, the City of Grand Junction collected a total of more than $14.1 million in sales and use taxes. That’s an increase of nearly $195,000 and 1.4 percent over the first quarter of 2019. Sales tax collections rose 2 percent to more than offset a 36.6 percent drop in use tax collections.

Mesa County collected a total of nearly $9.3 million in sales and use taxes during the first quarter of 2020. That’s an increase of almost $575,000 and 6.6 percent over the first quarter of 2019. Sales tax collections rose 8.8 percent even as use tax collections fell 15.3 percent.

For the first quarter of 2020, tax collections rose 19.2 percent on retail sales. Collections also increased in the auto, home improvement, hotel and restaurant and telecommunications categories. Collections dropped nearly $289,000 or 68.3 percent in the oil and natural gas category.

Lodging tax collections, a measure of hotel and motel stays, dropped 10 percent to $63,470 in March compared to the same month last year, the City of Grand Junction reported. Lodging tax reports lag collections by a month.

For the first quarter of 2020, the city collected nearly $229,000. That’s a gain of $4,581 and 2 percent over the first quarter of 2019.