Craig sales tax stabilizes, climbs 11% in August |

Craig sales tax stabilizes, climbs 11% in August

After a downtrend in the first quarter of 2016, Craig’s sales tax revenue has witnessed a bit of a rebound.

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.

But since then, the city has seen positive numbers — collecting .83 more than the previous year in May, 5.35 percent more in June, 6.79 percent more in July and an 11.26 percent jump in August.

To date in 2016, sales tax has generated $2,354,515 in revenue for the city of Craig.

Sales tax is the number one source of revenue for the city’s general fund, making it an important but somewhat unpredictable part of the budgeting process.

After cutting the 2017 budget by a million dollars from the previous year, the city is working on ways to increase revenue so it can avoid further reductions and maintain healthy reserves.

Facing those budget shortfalls, the city is looking for ways to pump up 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 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 nearly $2 million, while the use tax is projected to bring in $180,000.

“You have to have revenues to offset your expenses,” Craig Mayor Ray Beck said. “If those expenses start to exceed revenues, that becomes an issue.”

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

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