Sales tax collections on the rise

Phil Castle
Phil Castle

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Sales tax collections continue to increase in the Grand Valley, a gain one official attributed to a combination of consumer confidence, improving business conditions and a growing population.

The City of Grand Junction reported a 7.3 percent increase in sales and use tax collections in September compared to the same month last year. Mesa County reported a 2 percent year-over-year gain.

Meanwhile, Grand Junction lodging tax collections rose 12.8 percent on more hotel and motel stays.

Since reports lag a month behind, tax collections in September reflect sales and lodging activity in August.

Both the city and county numbers extend what’s been an upward trend in tax collections over the past three years.

The city collected a total of $4.9 million in sales and use taxes in September.  Year-to-date collections through September totaled $42.5 million, an 8.4 percent increase over the same span in 2017.

Jodi Romero, financial operations director for the city, said collections have increased in a number of categories, including department stores, bars and restaurants and the construction sector.

Because city tax collections reflect discretionary spending, they indicate strong consumer confidence, Romero said. Increased collections also reflect increased business spending as well as a growing number of people moving to the Grand Valley from the Front Range.

City sales tax collections are projected to increase 3 percent in 2019, what Romero said she hopes will prove a conservative forecast.

Mesa County collected a total of nearly  $3.2 million in sales and use taxes in September. A 5.8 percent increase in sales tax collections more than offset a 26.2 percent decrease in use taxes, most of that attributed to lower sales of automobiles purchased outside the county, but used in the county.

Through September, Mesa County collected a total of more than $27.1 million in sales and use taxes, a gain of 9.8 percent over the same span last year. Sales tax collections increased 9.6 percent, while use tax collections rose 12.3 percent.

Year-to-date county tax collections rose 6.4 percent on retail sales. Tax collections also rose on the sales of automobiles and construction and home improvement supplies as well as sales in the oil and natural gas and transportation categories.

Grand Junction lodging tax collections totaled 181,000 in September. Through the first nine months of 2018, lodging tax collections totaled $1.17 million, an increase of 7.9 percent over the same span in 2017.