City sales tax revenue declines 10.6 percent for January–March

First-quarter sales-and-use-tax revenue for the city of Grand Junction was down $1.6 million compared with the same quarter in 2008. It also fell about $2.2 million shy of the city’s projection.

Grand Junction took in $13.5 million from January through March this year, or 10.6 percent less than the $15.1 million it received during the first quarter of 2008.

Although the numbers were down 13.9 percent from the $15.68 million that budget managers anticipated when the city’s fiscal 2009 budget was approved last year, revenue being down is no surprise, given the national recession.

According to http://www.gjcity.org, Grand Junction’s decline is in tune with the rest of Colorado, where retail sales tax collection is down 14 percent in the first quarter, compared to the previous year. The nation, meanwhile, reported a 9.4 percent decrease.

Aware of the downward trend in sales tax revenue, city staff in March looked at paring the budget and found more than $6 million in savings. Among them were delaying hiring in some positions, postponing some capital equipment purchases and cutting operating costs. Fuel costs, for example, which were lower than anticipated, said Jodi Romero, financial operations manager for the city.

Given the economic slowdown and the history of sales-and-use-tax revenues in Grand Junction, Romero said the city is holding its own, financially speaking, with the cutbacks it has made.


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