Getting a little bounce – just a little, though for Rifle’s sales tax revenue
Citizen Telegram Editor
For just the second month in more than a year, Rifle’s sales tax revenue — without the revenue from the city’s 3/4 cent water plant sales tax — was up in November.
City Finance Director Charles Kelty said it was just a 2 percent increase, but after months and months of less-than-expected sales tax revenue, it was welcome.
“But for the year, the government funds are still down about 4 percent,” he added. “And I’m not sure it will pick up when we get the final numbers for December.”
Government funds include the general, street improvement, information center, parks and recreation and water funds.
With the water plant sales tax included, total sales, use and lodging tax revenues through Nov. 30, 2013, were $7.5 million, a 16 percent increase from the previous year’s $6.4 million, Kelty wrote in a recent report to Rifle City Council.
Sales tax revenues were $6.8 million and 17 percent more than the previous year’s $5.8 million, he noted. Building and motor vehicle use tax revenues were $597,000 and 12 percent higher than the previous year’s $530,000, while lodging tax revenues were $110,500 and 4 percent more than the previous year’s $106,000.
One area key to the city’s economic health — oil and natural gas — showed a sharp 83 percent increase over October, at nearly $40,000. But that is misleading, Kelty said.
“There was one operator who made a payment for several months on what they owed,” he stated. “Sometimes the companies get a little behind and they play catch up.”
Otherwise, Kelty described other sales tax categories in November as “status quo.”
Even the water plant sales tax revenue, which can only go toward debt service on the city’s new $25 million water treatment plant due to begin construction in the spring, is lagging behind projections, Kelty noted.
“We’re at about $1.4 million, so we’re a little shy of where we hoped to be” by the end of 2013, he said.
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