Mesa County sales tax collections lag in October, but still up for 2023

Sales tax collections, a key measure of retail activity, declined year over year in Mesa County in October. But collections so far in 2023 still outpace those in 2022.

Mesa County collected more than $4.2 million in sales taxes in October, a 1.4 percent drop compared to the same month last year. October collections reflect September sales.

Through the first 10 months of 2023, the county collected nearly $41 million. That’s an increase of seven-tenths of a percent over the same span in 2022.

Mesa County collected an additional $15.5 million in sales taxes over the first 10 months of 2023 it distributed to cities and towns in the county. That included $9 million to Grand Junction $2.8 million to Fruita, almost $2 million to Palisade and $848,000 each to Collbran and De Beque.

The county collected more than $2.4 million in taxes on retail sales in October, a drop of eight-tenths of a percent from the same month a year ago. Collections declined 2.6 percent for automobiles, 1.6 percent for home improvements and eight-tenths of a percent for general merchandise.

Sales tax collections topped $1.8 million in other industries in October, a drop of 2.2 percent. The biggest declines occurred in the construction and finance industries. Collections rose
34.5 percent in the oil and natural gas industry.

Through the first 10 months of 2023, Mesa County collected more than $23.7 million in taxes on retail sales, down 2.3 percent from the same period in 2022. Collections dropped 13 percent for home improvements and 5.4 percent for automobiles.

Sales tax collections totaled nearly $17.3 million for other industries, a 5.1 percent gain. Gains in the hotel and restaurant, oil and natural gas and wholesale industries more than offset losses in the construction, manufacturing and telecommunications industries.

Use tax collections — nearly all of it from automobiles purchased outside Mesa County, but used in the count — totaled $392,165 in October. That’s an increase of 1.5 percent from the same month last year. Through the first 10 months of 2023, use tax collections topped $3.7 million. That’s a gain of 1.8 percent over the same span in 2022.