Grand Valley tax collections a mixed bag

Tax collections in the Grand Valley constituted something of a mixed bag in March.

The City of Grand Junction reported a 5.6 percent increase in sales and use tax collections compared to the same month last year. Mesa County reported a 6.6 percent decrease.

Overall lodging tax collections in Grand Junction increased, but only because of a voter-approved measure doubling the tax rate.

March tax collections reflect February sales and hotel and motel stays.

The city collected a total of more than $3.9 million in sales and use taxes, an increase of 206,432 over last year. Sales tax collections rose 3.6 percent. Use tax collections, a smaller and more volatile source of revenue, jumped 24.3 percent.

For the first quarter of 2019, the city collected a total of more than $14 million in sales and use taxes. That’s an increase of $801,256 and 6 percent over the first quarter of 2018. Sales tax collections rose 3.5 percent, while use tax collections increased 45.5 percent.

Mesa County collected a total of more than $2.6 million in sales and use taxes in March, a decrease of  $184,220 compared to the same month last year. An 8.7 percent decline in sales tax collections more than offset a 16.4 percent gain in use tax collections — most on the sales of automobiles purchased outside the county, but used in the county.

County tax collections on retail sales fell 5.1 percent. Collections also fell in other industry categories, including home improvement, manufacturing and telecommunications. Collections were up in the construction, hotel and restaurant and oil and natural gas categories.

For the first quarter of 2019, Mesa County collected a total of more than $8.7 million in sales and use taxes. That’s a gain of $349,685 and 4.2 percent over the first quarter of 2018. Sales tax collections increased 3.5 percent, while use tax collections rose 10.6 percent.

County tax collections on retail sales rose 3.7 percent on a quarter-over-quarter basis and also increased for the construction and hotel and restaurant categories. Tax collections surged $263,913
or 166.4 percent in the oil and natural gas category. Quarterly tax collections declined in the home improvement, telecommunications and utilities categories.

The City of Grand Junction collected $144,700 in lodging taxes in March, a 94.1 percent increase over the same month last year.

Of that total, $74,209 in collections came from an increase in the lodging tax rate from 3 percent to 6 percent, the proceeds of which will be divided among Visit Grand Junction, the Grand Junction Regional Air Service Alliance and Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission. Without the rate increase, lodging tax collections were down 5.5 percent.

For the first quarter of 2019, the city collected $369,510 in lodging taxes, an increase of $158,067 and 74.8 percent over the first quarter of 2018. Not counting the tax rate increase, collections increased 6.1 percent.