Rangely, county see decreased sales tax revenue, Meeker up 10 percent

RBC I Sales and use tax revenue for Rio Blanco County is down by .07 percent for the first two quarters of 2017 compared to 2016 numbers. Motor vehicle use tax revenue declined 27 percent compared to the first two quarters of 2016. Construction materials use tax dollars for the county declined the most from 2016, 77 percent.

The Town of Meeker had a 10 percent increase in sales tax revenue during the first two quarters of 2017 compared to 2016 numbers, a 12 percent increase in motor vehicle use tax and a 90 percent decrease in construction materials use tax.
The Town of Rangely had a 21 percent decrease in sales tax during the first two quarters of 2017 compared to 2016 numbers, a 25 percent increase in motor vehicle use taxes and an 83 percent increase in construction materials use tax revenue.
The dramatic decrease in construction materials use taxes for the county and the Town of Meeker are related to the completion of the Justice Center project.
Lodging taxes for Meeker in the first and second quarters of 2017 totaled $24,724 compared to $17,157 for the same period in 2016; a 31 percent increase. Rangely’s lodging tax totaled $17,912 for the first two quarters of 2016 and $10,710 for the same period in 2017; a 40 percent decrease.
Rio Blanco County Sales and Use Tax Administrator Debbie Morlan said the dramatic changes in construction materials use taxes can be skewed by one large project. In the case of the Town of Meeker, the difference was due to a substantial settlement received in February 2016.
“In the last couple of years we’ve had a lot of big projects,” she said. Now that most of those projects have come to an end, the numbers may look discouraging, but that’s not necessarily the case.
“Things are moving up a little bit. I’ve seen a bump. It’s not huge, but it looks like things are moving in the right direction,” Morlan said.