Sales and use tax collections continue to increase in Mesa County, according to reports for June and the first half of the year.
According to the report for June, county sales and use tax collections totaled $3.06 million, up 4 percent from June 2010.
For the first half of 2011, the county collected $17.28 million, a 5.2 percent increase over the same period last year.
Since tax collections reports lag a month behind, the report for June reflects spending in May. Reports for the first six months of the year reflect spending from December through May.
While Grand Junction hasn’t yet released its June report, the city collected a total of nearly $19.9 million in sales and use tax collections for reports covering the January to May period, a 10.8 percent gain from the same period last year.
City Manager Laurie Kadrich predicts collections for the second half of the year will be weaker than they were for the January to May period, however.
Kadrich said she bases her forecast on a likely decline in the purchase of construction materials. “We have little or no projects for the third and fourth quarters of this year and none for 2012,” Kadrich said during a public seminar on city finances in June.
Her forecast runs contrary to predictions from other factions in the Grand Valley. A survey of members of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce revealed an increase in optimism, with more businesses planning to hire people than lay off workers in coming months. And Jodi Romero, finance director for the city, predicted increasing consumer confidence will continue to spur people to spend more than they did last year, in turn bolstering city tax revenues the remainder of the year.
Still, the county and city have reduced spending and laid off employees over the past two years. Last year, city collections of $46 million in sales and use taxes were the lowest amount since $42 million was collected in 2005.