Grand Valley tax collections decrease

A measure of sales has dropped in the Grand Valley as the effects of business closures and other restrictions imposed in response to the coronavirus pandemic begin to show up in government reports.

The City of Grand Junction reported a 10.3 percent decrease in sales and use tax collections in April compared to the same month last year. Mesa County reported a 7.1 percent decline. Grand Junction lodging tax collections, a measure of hotel and motel stays, dropped 40.2 percent.

Collections in April reflect sales in March, when the outbreak first triggered shutdowns.

The city collected a total of more than $4.4 million in sales and use taxes in April. That’s a decrease of more than $509,000 from the same month last year. Sales tax collections fell 12.1 percent. Use tax collections, a smaller and more volatile revenue source, dropped 41.3 percent.

Mesa County collected a total of more than $2.9 million in sales and use taxes. That’s a decrease of nearly $225,000 from the same month last year. Sales tax collections declined 5.1 percent. Use tax collections — nearly all of them on automobiles purchased outside the county, but used in the county — dropped 28.2 percent.

County tax collections increased 3.6 percent on retail sales and 1.1 percent on home improvement sales. Collections fell in other categories, however: 14 percent for manufacturing, 19.5 percent for automobiles and 36.7 percent for hotels and restaurants.

With the April decline, year-to-date sales and use tax collections are down 1.3 percent for the city. County collections still outpace last year by 3.5 percent.

For the first four months of 2020, the city collected more than $18.6 million. That’s a decrease of nearly $240,000 from the same span in 2019. Sales tax collections fell 1.2 percent, while use tax collections dropped 41.4 percent.

The county collected nearly $12.3 million through the first four months of 2020. That’s an increase of more than $416,000 from the same span in 2019. A 5.1 percent increase in sales tax collections more than offset a 12.4 percent decline in use tax collections.

Year-to-date county collections rose 15.1 percent on retail sales. Collections also increased for the auto, home improvement and telecommunications categories. Collections decreased for the hotel and restaurant and oil and natural gas categories.

The City of Grand Junction collected $64,909 in lodging taxes in April, $43,552 less than the same month last year.

For the first four months of 2020, the city collected $293,828 in lodging taxes. That’s $38,970 and 11.7 percent less than the same span in 2019.