Sales tax revenue down in February in Grand Junction

February was another disappointing month for Grand Junction sales and use tax collections, with the city collecting half a million dollars less than expected.

The city budgeted for a $3.7 million haul but ended up taking in $3.2 million in February. The city collected $3.9 million in sales and use tax in February 2009 and $4.57 million in January.

Sales and use tax revenue collected in February reflects retail and other sales in January. City Financial Services Manager Jodi Romero said she won’t know until March 20 how February sales look, but she’s heard from many in the business community that sales activity has gone up in March, especially since the weather got better.

Romero said predicting how the rest of the quarter or the rest of 2010 will look is hard since sales and use tax collections began regularly coming in under budget in the summer of 2008.

Until 2008, sales and use tax trends remained relatively constant for two decades.

“We’re not only bucking national trends, we’re bucking our own trends, so it’s becoming more difficult to predict,” Romero said.

February’s sales tax revenue, which will be collected in March could get some help from the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day.

Consumers nationwide were expected to spend $52.63 per viewer on Super Bowl Sunday and $103 per person on Valentine’s Day, according to research performed by BIGresearch for the National Retail Federation.

Consumers were expected to spend $33.05 per person on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, and the federation projects consumers will spend an average of $118.60 for Easter on April 4.


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