Ringing in the new year for Roswell residents and businesses also means that store cash registers, service provider bills and some online carts rang up a bit more in sales taxes on most purchases.
Two gross receipts tax increases boosted the city rate to 7.8333 percent on Jan 1.
Translated that means that Roswell residents and businesses now pay $7.83 for $100 worth of taxable goods and services. That compares to $7.50 cents last year at this time and about $7.69 cents on $100 of purchases made after June.
“I hadn’t even noticed,” said Phil Smith of Roswell. “I hadn’t given it much thought.”
His sentiments were common among Thursday afternoon shoppers at the Roswell Mall. Most said that they had not heard about the sales tax increases or noticed a difference in what they were paying.
Local business owner Crystal Pennell of TP Music said she had been notified by her accountant that taxes increased as of Jan. 1.
“I thought we had just increased taxes, and I was like, what?” she said.
In addition to the two increases effective in January, two other increases began to be collected in July.
The four new taxes over the past eight months are the result of three GRT hikes passed by the city of Roswell and one passed by the Chaves County Board of Commissioners.
In February, the Roswell City Council voted 8-2 to approve three GRT increases to fund and maintain the new $20 million recreation and aquatic center, now under construction on West College Boulevard next to Cielo Grande Recreation Area.
Two of those increases — a one-eighth of 1 percent, or 0.125 percent, increase and a one-sixteenth, or a 0.0625 percent, increase — took effect in June 2017, which boosted Roswell sales taxes from 7.5 percent to 7.6875.
The third increase for one-sixteenth of a percent began to be collected Jan. 1, taking the tax rate to 7.75 percent.
Those tax boosts are expected to bring in an additional $2.77 million a year to the city’s general municipal and sanitation funds.
Added to the new city sales taxes is the one-twelfth of 1 percent, or 0.0833 percent, increase passed unanimously by the Chaves County Board of Commissioners in June and effective Jan. 1. That brought the tax rate to city residents to 7.8333 percent and increased the rate for unincorporated areas of the county from 6.4375 percent to 6.5208 percent.
County leadership said that the GRT tax increase is anticipated to bring in an additional $800,000 to $850,000 a year to county coffers, which they said would help offset any state or federal cutbacks affecting county revenues.
A few people echoed Jane Ann Oldrup’s view that increased taxes were not of concern to them as long as the money was used for what they considered to be a good purpose.
“I like the new recreation center, so if taxes are going up because of that, I think that’s a good thing,” she said.
The current GRT tax rate in Dexter is 7.3958 percent. It’s 7.5833 percent in Hagerman, and 6.8958 percent in Lake Arthur.
The state’s portion of GRT taxes collected in the area is 5.125 percent.
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at email@example.com.