Same song, same verse for Rifle sales tax numbers through first five months | PostIndependent.com
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Same song, same verse for Rifle sales tax numbers through first five months

Another month, the same trend for the city of Rifle’s sales and use tax revenues.

While the numbers seem to say things are improving for Rifle businesses and city coffers, once you remove the affects of the 3/4 of a cent sales tax hike voters approved last year to help with a new $25 million water treatment plant, reality is different. That’s what city Finance Director Charles Kelty has said each month since the first quarter of last year.

At a July 1 City Council workshop, Kelty said it again.



“Nationwide, many areas may be on the rebound, but I really don’t see that in the numbers,” he said. “Until we start to see the numbers improve, I can’t say we’re out of the recession.”

Kelty added it looks like the city will have to “really watch the line” when it starts its budgeting process for 2014 this fall.



Kelty’s latest report found total sales, use and lodging tax revenues through May 31 at nearly $3.2 million, a 9 percent increase from the previous year’s $2.9 million.

Sales tax revenues through May are just under $2.9 million, a 10 percent increase from the previous year’s $2.6 million.

“The only reason we’re seeing that increase is due to the three-quarter cent sales tax” hike, Kelty said in a July 5 interview. “If we were actually comparing apples to apples, you’d see numbers that are 10 percent lower” than the ones in his latest report.

Building and motor vehicle use tax revenues are just under $255,000, a 1 percent decrease from the previous year’s $258,000. Lodging tax revenues are $39,800, a 1 percent increase from the previous year’s $39,360.

In the city’s general fund, which pays for most city operations, total revenues through May are $2.7 million, compared to the prior year’s $2.9 million, and is more than $200,000, or 7 percent, less. Sales and use taxes collected year-to-date and allocated to the general fund are $1.4 million, compared to the prior year’s nearly $1.6 million, and is more than $160,0000, or 10 percent, less.

“Not all of that is due to the city sales tax coming in lower,” Kelty noted. “The county sales tax has been down, too. But the general fund sales and use tax decrease is the main reason for the overall decrease in revenue.”


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