Grand Junction sales and use tax down 20 percent

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The city of Grand Junction will have to adjust its 2010 budget just two-and-a-half months after adopting it.

The city took in less sales and use tax revenue than expected in January, and the trend is likely to continue through the rest of the first quarter, city Financial Operations Manager Jodi Romero said.

Grand Junction City Council members will meet Monday afternoon with Financial Operations Department staff to discuss cuts that already are being suggested by the department and further cuts that could be made if the first quarter drops by a range of percentages.

The city collected $4.57 million in sales and use tax in January, a $1.3 million decrease from January 2009. In 2009, the city of Grand Junction took in nearly four-fifths of the sales and use tax revenue it collected in 2008. Sales and use tax revenue decreased from $58.7 million to $47 million year-over-year.

The city experienced sales and use tax revenue growth for 25 consecutive years before seeing a 20 percent decrease in 2009. The city has projected a 3 percent increase from 2009 revenue to 2010, but recovery may not come as quickly as the city initially projected, Romero said.

“I believe we will see some growth. It may be later than we expected,” she said.

The Financial Operations Department still is working on budget suggestions, Romero said, but so far the department has looked at delaying purchases of equipment and some operations and maintenance-cost reductions.

Council members could approve more cuts or ask the Financial Operations Department to examine pros and cons of certain cuts at the Monday meeting.

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