Tax collections reflect increasing sales activity

Tax collections continue to increase in the Grand Valley, an indication of growing sales activity.

The City of Grand Junction reported a 2.9 percent increase in sales tax collections in October compared to the same month last year. Mesa County reported a 5.3 percent year-over-year gain.

Lodging tax collections, a key indicator of local hotel and motel stays, also continue to increase.

Tax collections reported in October reflect September activity

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 nearly $5.2 million in sales and use taxes in October. That’s an increase of 4.4 percent and almost $220,000 over the same month last year.

Jodi Romero, financial operations director for the city, said the latest numbers trend close to what was collected in September with gains in department stores, bars, restaurants and the construction sector. Automotive sales were down.

Through the first 10 months of 2018, the city has collected a total of nearly $47.7 million in sales and use taxes. That’s an increase of
8 percent and more than $3.5 million over the same span in 2017. Year-to-date sales tax collections were up 7.4 percent, while use tax collections dropped 10.8 percent.

Romero said city sales tax collections are projected to increase a more modest 3 percent in 2019, although she also said she hopes the forecast proves conservative.

Mesa County collected a total of more than $3.1 million in sales and use taxes in October. A 5.3 percent increase in sales tax collections more than offset a 5.5 percent decrease in use tax collections, most of that on the sale of automobiles purchased outside the county, but used in the county.

Tax collections on retail sales increased 3.6 percent in October compared to the same month last year. Tax collections also rose in the hotel and restaurant, home improvement and automotive categories as well as on sales in the oil and natural gas and transportation categories.

Through the first 10 months of 2018, the county has collected a total of more than $30.2 million in sales and use taxes. That’s an increase of 9.2 percent and nearly $2.6 million over the same span in 2017. Sales tax collections increased 9.1 percent, while use tax collections increased 10.1 percent.

Year-to-date county tax collections rose 6.1 percent on retail sales. Gains also occurred for the home improvement, automotive and hotel and restaurant categories.

The City of Grand Junction collected $185,551 in lodging taxes in October on hotel and motel stays in September. That’s an increase of 7.8 percent and $13,496 over October 2017.

Through the first 10 months of 2018, the city collected almost $1.4 million in lodging taxes. That’s an increase of  7.9 percent and nearly $100,000 over the same span in 2017.

Grand Junction lodging taxes will double from 3 percent to 6 percent starting in January thanks to passage of a city ballot measure in November. The increase is expected to generate an additional $1.5 million in revenue annually

Lodging taxes fund Visit Grand Junction, the city tourism and destination marketing organization. Revenue from the increase will be split three ways: 1.25 percent to Visit Grand Junction, 1 percent to 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.