Craig sales tax down in first quarter of 2016 | CraigDailyPress.com
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Craig sales tax down in first quarter of 2016

City looks to bolster sales tax and create a use tax

Patrick Kelly

Craig’s 2016 sales tax revenue is down slightly from 2015 in the first quarter of the year.

From January to April, the city collected 1.75 percent less from sales tax than it did the previous year — a $19,000 dollar difference.

Compared to 2015, sales tax revenue was down 3 percent in January, up 6.7 percent in February, down 8 percent in March and down 1.5 percent in April.

Interim City Manager and Finance Director Bruce Nelson said keeping tabs on sales tax revenue is an important part of planning the city’s budget.

Sales tax is the number one source of revenue for the city’s general fund, but it is also somewhat unpredictable.

“A lot of times you have to be on the conservative side,” Nelson said. “If it comes in, that’s great. It helps you out. But, if it doesn’t, it’s almost like a double whammy.”

Facing budget shortfalls, in 2016 the city is looking for ways to pump up sales tax revenue and maintain funding for services and capital projects.

Craig City Council has discussed a 1.25 percent increase in the sales tax and creating a use taxCraig City Council has discussed a 1.25 percent increase in the sales tax and creating a use tax, which would subject goods bought outside of Craig to local taxes. The city hopes to put the measure to a vote in April., which would subject goods bought outside of Craig to local taxes. The city hopes to put the measure to a vote in April.

Craig City Council has discussed a 1.25 percent increase in the sales tax and creating a use tax, which would subject goods bought outside of Craig to local taxes. The city hopes to put the measure to a vote in April.

The increased sales tax would generate an additional nearly $2 million, while the use tax is projected to bring in $180,000.

Craig Mayor Ray Beck said city council wants to continue providing the same level of services to the community, but that cannot be achieved without an increase in revenue.

“We felt that if we want to keep providing the same services we have in the past at affordable rates, then we we’re going to have to create some source of revenue,” he said.

Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.


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