February sales tax shows it’s still a struggle in Rifle
Rifle Citizen Telegram
For the second month in a row, the numbers show Rifle’s sales tax and other revenue sources were up in February.
However, once two major factors are removed — the city’s 3/4 of a cent sales tax for the new $25 million water treatment plant that took effect on Jan. 1 and the loan of that amount to build the plant — Finance Director Charles Kelty said the month was actually 6 percent lower than February of last year.
With those two factors included, total sales, use and lodging tax revenues so far this year is just under $1.2 million, a 9 percent increase from the previous year’s nearly $1.1 million.
Sales tax revenues to date are $1.1 million, an 11 percent increase from the previous year’s $996,000.
“I hope the next few months will continue to see an increase,” Kelty said. “But when you take out the sales tax hike and the water fund loan, it appears we’re still in a recession locally.”
Among individual categories, building and motor vehicle use tax revenues are $77,000, a nearly 7 percent decrease from the previous year’s $82,600.
Lodging tax revenues are slightly more than $10,000 this year, a 36 percent decrease from the previous year’s nearly $16,000.
Kelty noted one hotel has yet to submit its February sales tax report, and the Rusty Cannon has been closed, so the hotel category’s 19 percent drop is a little misleading.
“And oil and gas just isn’t generating the funds it once did,” he added of that category’s 19 percent decline in February over last February. For the year, oil and gas sales tax revenue is down 28 percent.
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