Mesa County tax report reflects year-over-year increase in consumer spending for December.

Consumer spending increased in Mesa County during December compared to a year ago, the first such increase for the holiday shopping month since 2007.

According to the January tax report, which reflects spending in December, Mesa County collected $3.41 million in sales taxes. That’s a 0.51 percent increase over the same month last year.

January sales tax reports for the previous three years reflected year-over-year declines in collections: down 19.41 percent from 2009 to 2010, down 3.84 percent from 2008 to 2009 and down 6.65 percent from 2007 to 2008.

The last January report to reflect a year-over-year increase was in 2007. That report reflected a 28.6 percent increase in sales tax collections over January 2006.

Despite yearly declines since 2007, actual collections were higher in the January 2009 report than the January 2011 report by $4.21 million, or 18 percent. The full effects of slowdowns in the economy and natural gas development in the region didn’t hit Mesa County until later in 2009.