City revenue rebounding during 2011

This year has been more lucrative for city rolls than last year at this time, according to the latest sales tax collection figures released by the city of Grand Junction.

In year-to-date comparisons, sales tax collections this year were nearly $2 million higher than January to May last year, the city report shows. Year-to-date sales and use taxes so far this year have reached nearly $19.9 million. Last year’s numbers from January to May were nearly $18 million.

Collections of total sales and use taxes for May were $3.8 million. That’s an increase from the $3.5 million total taxes collected in May 2010.

“The good news is it’s leveling with projections,” said Jodi Romero, financial operations manager for Grand Junction. “I think by the end of the year it will level out. We’re not worried as much.”

Declining sales tax revenues in 2009 and 2010 contributed to layoffs of city employees as well as other cutbacks. If sales tax collections come in lower than projections this year, the city is prepared to make further cuts, city officials have said.

That scenario is unlikely now that tax collections are exceeding budget projections, albeit not by much.

For example, city staff projected total sales and use taxes would come in at $3.7 million in May, and it received $3.8 million.

In the past, city officials could tentatively project sales tax revenues by seasons. For example, the winter shopping season leading up to the year-end holidays tended to boost city coffers. After the recession, though, city officials are hesitant to make any bold projections for revenues on any given month or season.

“I think we’ve all learned the past isn’t necessarily going to predict the future,” Romero said.


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