Tax collections, a key measure of sales activity, continue to increase in Grand Junction and Mesa County.
The City of Grand Junction and Mesa County reported large, year-over-year gains in collections in May, although the gains also reflect the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic a year ago.
The city collected nearly $4.9 million in sales taxes in May, an increase of 61.2 percent compared to the same month a year ago. The city received another $860,000 as its share of sales taxes collected in Mesa County, a 42.2 percent increase.
The county collected more than $3.9 million in sales taxes in May, a 43.8 percent increase from a year ago.
City lodging tax collections, a measure of hotel and motel stays, also increased.
May collections reflect April sales.
The city collected a total of more than $5.8 million in sales and use taxes in May, an increase of $2.1 million and 57.7 percent over the same month last year. Use taxes, a smaller and more volatile revenue source, increased 35.3 percent.
While city sales and use tax collections for May have trended upward over the last five years, 2020 was the exception with a nearly 20.4 percent drop from 2019.
For the first five months of 2021, the city collected a total of more than $27 million in sales and use taxes. That’s an increase of more than $4.9 million and 22.1 percent over the same span in 2020.
A 24.3 percent increase in sales tax collections more than offset a 15.7 percent decrease in use tax collections.
Mesa County collected a total of more than $4.2 million in sales and use taxes in May, an increase of almost $1.4 million and 48.1 percent over the same month a year ago.
Use tax collections — most on automobiles purchased outside the county, but used in the county — rose 132.2 percent.
County sales and use tax collections for May 2020 were down 11.8 percent from May 2019.
For May 2021, county tax collections on retail sales topped $1.3 million, an increase of 39.3 percent over a year ago. Collections rose for every category, including a 208.5 percent increase in clothing, 112 percent increase in sporting goods and 28 percent increase in internet sales.
County tax collections also increased on a year-over-year basis 79.6 percent on restaurant meals and hotel stays, 54.3 percent on automotive sales and 45.8 percent on home improvements. Collections dropped 43.9 percent in the oil and natural gas sector.
For the first five months of 2021, Mesa County collected a total of more than $18.7 million in sales and use taxes, an increase of nearly $3.6 million and 23.7 percent. Sales tax collections rose 22.4 percent, while use tax collections jumped 41.2 percent.
The county collected more than $6.4 million in taxes on retail sales during the first five months of 2021, a 26.9 percent increase over the same span in 2020. Collections rose 53.2 percent for internet sales, 40.8 percent for sporting goods and 47.3 percent for clothing.
Tax collections increased 40.6 percent on the sale of home improvements, 31.2 percent on automobiles and 25.4 percent on restaurant meals and hotel stays.
The City of Grand Junction collected $142,536 in lodging taxes in May, an increase of $93,359 and 189.8 percent over the month a year ago.
The increase reflects in part a downturn in hospitality businesses last year attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions. Collections for May 2020 were down nearly 61.2 percent from May 2019. Still, collections for May 2021 were up 6.7 percent from May 2019.
Through the first five months of 2021, the city collected $456,267. That’s an increase of $88,373 and 24 percent over the same period in 2020.