Grand Valley tax collections trend upward

Tax collections continue to rise in the Grand Valley, an indication of increased retail sales.

The City of Grand Junction reported a 5.1 percent increase in sales and use tax collections in February. Mesa County reported a proportionally larger increase of 13.5 percent. February collections reflect January sales.

Lodging tax collections, a measure of hotel and motel stays in Grand Junction, also increased.

The city collected a total of more than $4.2 million in sales and use taxes, an increase of $207,623 over the same month last year. Sales tax collections rose 2.3 percent. Use tax collections, a smaller and more volatile source of revenue for the city, jumped 34.5 percent.

For the first two months of 2019, the city has collected a total of more than $10.1 million in sales and use taxes. That’s an increase of nearly $600,000 and 6.2 percent over the same period in 2018. Sales tax collections rose 3.5 percent, while use tax collections surged 51.9 percent.

Mesa County collected a total of more than $2.7 million in sales and use taxes in February, an increase of almost $321,000 over the same month last year. Sales tax collections increased 15 percent. Use tax collections — most of the sale of automobiles purchased outside the county, but used in the county — edged up four-tenths of a percent.

County tax collections on retail sales increased 24.1 percent on a year-over-year basis. Sales tax collections also rose for most other industry categories, including a 250.6 percent increase in the oil and natural gas category to $165,224. Meanwhile, collections in the construction category rose 12.7 percent.

For the first two months of 2019, the county has collected a total of more than $6.1 million in sales and use taxes. That’s an increase of 9.3 percent and nearly $522,000 over the same span last year.

The City of Grand Junction also collected $141,070 in lodging taxes in February, an increase of 118.7 percent over the same month last year.

For the first two months of 2019, the city collected $224,810 in lodging taxes, an increase of 64.2 percent over the same period last year.

The gains reflect a voter-approved increase that doubled the lodging tax from 3 percent to 6 percent.

Revenue from the increase, which became effective in January, will be split three ways: 1.25 percent to Visit Grand Junction, 1 percent to the Grand Junction Regional Air Service Alliance to support additional direct flights to and from the Grand Junction Regional Airport and  0.75 percent to the Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission to promote tourism related to sports activities and events in the Grand Valley.