Grand Valley tax collections continue to decline

A key indicator of sales activity continues to drop in the Grand Valley as a pandemic and related restrictions affect business operations.

The City of Grand Junction reported a 22.5 percent decline in sales and use tax collections in May compared to the same month last year. Mesa County reported an 11.8 percent decrease. Grand Junction lodging tax collections, a measure of hotel and motel stays, fell 63.2 percent. Collections in May reflect sales and lodging activity in April.

The city collected a total of nearly $3.6 million in sales and use taxes in May, a decrease of more than $1 million from the same month last year. Sales tax collections declined 25.3 percent. Use tax collections dropped 28.1 percent.

The county collected a total of nearly $2.9 million in sales and use taxes, a decease of $383,000 from a year ago. Sales tax collections fell 5.1 percent. Use tax collections — the bulk of it on automobiles purchased outside the county but used in the county — dropped 62.3 percent.

While county tax collections increased 11.3 percent on retail sales and 16 percent on home improvement sales, collections decreased 21.7 percent on auto sales, 34.7 percent on restaurant meals and hotel stays and 60 percent in the oil and natural gas industry.

With the May decline, year-to-date sales and use tax collections fell 5.5 percent for the city. County sales and use tax collections remained ahead of last year, but by only two-tenths of a percent.

The city collected a total of more than $22.2 million through the first five months of 2019, nearly $1.3 million less than the same span in 2019. Sales tax collections were down 6 percent. Use tax collections fell 39.8 percent.

The county collected a total of more than $15.1 million, about $33,000 more than the same period last year. Sales tax collections increased 2.96 percent. Use tax collections declined 25.5 percent.

Year-to-date county tax collections were up 14.4 percent for retail sales and 10.5 percent on home improvement sales, but down 4.1 percent for autos, 14.4 percent in the hotel and restaurant category and 60.8 percent in the oil and gas category.

The city collected $49,177 in lodging taxes in May, down $108,557 from the same month last year.

Through the first five months of 2020, the city collected $357,812 in lodging taxes. That’s a decrease of nearly $109,000 and 23.3 percent from the same span in 2019.