Phil Castle, The Business Times
Buoyed in part by stronger holiday sales, tax collections continue to increase in the Grand Valley.
The City of Grand Junction reported a 6.1 percent increase in sales and use tax collections in January compared to the same month last year. Mesa County reported an even larger proportional gain at 12.7 percent.
Lodging tax collections — a measure of hotel and motel stays in Grand Junction — also increased.
“This is a good start for the year,” said Jodi Romero, financial operations director for the city.
Eleanor Thomas, budget manager for the county, agreed. “I think, overall, it’s looking pretty good.”
January collections reflect December sales, including a portion of holiday sales. Moreover, the first month of the year is usually the biggest month of the year for tax collections.
The city reported collecting a total of more than $5.5 million in sales and use tax collections. That’s an increase of nearly $320,000 and 6.1 percent over the same month in 2017. A 5.9 percent increase in sales tax collections more than offset a seven-tenths of a percent decrease in use tax collections, a smaller and more volatile portion of revenues for the city.
Romero said the top categories that account for the bulk of sales tax collections showed growth, including the automotive, construction, energy and restaurant and bar sectors. Geographically, the top areas for collections were the U.S. Highway 6 & 50 corridor and Mesa Mall and 24 Road area, she said.
Sales tax collections also reflect what Romero said was a stronger holiday shopping season than last year. Collections from online sales also have increased as well, she said.
The county reported collecting a total of more than $3.2 million in sales and use taxes in January. That’s an increase of $362,000 and 12.7 percent over what was collected for the same month a year ago. Sales tax collections increased 11.6 percent. Use tax collections jumped 27.2 percent on the sale of vehicles purchased outside the county, but used in the county.
Thomas said there were increases in sales tax collections on automobiles, home improvement supplies, hotel stays and restaurant meals. Collections from the oil and natural gas industry also rose, she said.
Collections on retail sales increased 5.7 percent, which reflects in part stronger holiday sales, Thomas said. Collections in other industries rose 15.9 percent.
For the city, sales and use tax collections totaled almost $52.9 million for 2017. That’s an increase of nearly $3.4 million and
6.8 percent over 2016. Sales tax collections rose 6.6 percent, while use tax collections jumped 14.9 percent.
The city budget for 2018 is based in part on what’s forecast as a 1 percent increase in sales tax collections — a projection Romero said was purposely conservative.
For the county, sales and use tax collections came to almost $33.3 million in 2017. That’s a gain of almost 2.6 million and 8.3 percent over 2016. Sales tax collections rose 7.9 percent, while use tax collections were up 12.3 percent.
The county has projected a 2 percent increase in sales tax collections for 2018.
Lodging tax collections in Grand Junction also increased in January.
The city reported collecting $72,383. That’s a gain of $4.814 and 7.1 percent over the same month a year ago.
The year-end total in lodging tax collections for 2017 came to almost $1.5 million. That’s an increase of $44,185 and 3.1 percent over 2016.