Tax collections reflect increased retail and hospitality activity

Sales tax collections continue to rise in Mesa County, an indication in part of increasing retail activity.

Mesa County reported a 12.2 percent increase in sales tax collections for November compared to the same month last year. The City of Grand Junction reported a 2.9 percent increase in year-over-year collections. November collections reflect October sales.

The county collected a total of more than $3.3 million in sales and use taxes, an increase of more than $392,000 and 13.3 percent over last year. Use taxes — most of them assessed on automobiles purchased outside the county, but used in the county — jumped 26.4 percent.

County sales tax collections increased 16.1 percent on retail sales. Tax collections also rose in most other industry categories: 71.8 percent in manufacturing, 56.1 percent in the telecommunications, 23.5 percent in construction, 8.8 percent in automobiles and 8.4 percent in hotels and restaurants. Meanwhile, though,  tax collections dropped 47.2 percent in the oil and natural gas category.

Through 11 months of 2019, county sales and use tax collections totaled more than $35.1 million. That’s an increase of more than $1.9 million and 5.7 percent over the same span in 2018. Sales tax collections rose 6.4 percent while use tax collections edged down four-tenths of a percent.

Year-to-date county tax collections rose 6.6 percent on retail sales. Sales tax collections rose 40.2 percent in the construction category, 36.4 percent in oil and gas, 11.2 percent in manufacturing and 5.8 percent for automobiles.

The City of Grand Junction collected a total of almost $4.8 million in sales and use taxes in November. That’s an increase of more than $137,000 and 3 percent over the same month last year. Use tax collections, a far smaller and more volatile source of revenue for the city, dropped 12 percent.

Through 11 months of 2019, city sales and use tax collections totaled more than $54 million. That’s an increase of nearly $1.8 million and 3.4 percent over the same span in 2018. Sales tax collections rose 2.7 percent, while use tax collections increased 5.5 percent.

A measure of hotel and motel stays in Grand Junction also continues to increase.

The City of Grand Junction collected $287,314 in lodging taxes in November. That’s an increase of 118.4 percent over the same month last year. November collections reflect hotel and motel stays in October.

Through 11 months of 2019, the city collected more than $3 million in lodging taxes. That’s a gain of about $1.6 million and 108.4 percent over the same span in 2018.

The gains reflect a voter-approved increase that doubled the lodging tax from 3 percent to 6 percent. Revenue from the increase, which took effect this year, is split three ways: 1.25 percent for Visit Grand Junction to promote travel and tourism, 1 percent for the Grand Junction Regional Air Service Alliance to support additional direct flights to and from the Grand Junction Regional Airport and 0.75 percent to the Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission to promote tourism related to sports activities and events in the Grand Valley.

Not counting the lodging tax increase, collections increased 7.4 percent in November and 5.4 percent through 11 months of 2019.