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City sees GRT and lodgers’ tax collection increases

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Nine budget amendments were recommended for approval by the city of Roswell’s Finance Committee.

Chairman Councilor Caleb Grant, Vice Chair Steve Henderson and Councilor Judy Stubbs were present with Councilor Jacob Roebuck being absent at the half-hour meeting on Tuesday morning.

Finance Director Monica Garcia said the city garnered $2.7 million in gross receipts tax (GRT) for the month of June. In total, Garcia said the GRT budget is 9.43% over-budgeted from a 12-month collection.

May’s lodgers’ tax was $103,000 or $11,000 over the budgeted amount. Lodgers’ tax is an optional tax for cities and counties that is placed on hotels, motels and other commercial short-term rentals to promote toursim activities. Garcia said 22,174 rooms were rented out in May. She added that lodgers’ tax is also $100,000 over-budgeted from 11 months of collections.

The city also collected $55,368 from convention center fees, Garcia said. The convention center fee is $2.50 charged daily for local hotel/motel room rentals to be used for improvements to a convention center, as required by state law.

Becky Hicks, supervising senior accountant, explained the nine resolutions were “housekeeping” items, required by the New Mexico Department of Finance & Administration’s new reporting system, to include additional revenue that the city has received in the budget allowing it to be spent. Hicks explained that the councilors will see increases in revenue lines and expense lines of the budget.

The committee members made nine separate motions to send the nine resolutions to the next full council meeting. Each motion was specified to go to the consent agenda meaning the council could approve the resolutions, and other matters, with one vote.

For the Tyler financial software update, Garcia said work continues implementing it further. Grant asked about CivicRec used by the public for booking classes, reserving rooms and buying memberships through the city’s Parks and Recreation and Public Affairs departments, and the Roswell Museum and Art Center. Garcia said CivicRec doesn’t link into Tyler, since Tyler has its own cashiering process.

Jim Burress, Parks and Recreation director, said there were some issues with the point of sales systems, but the opening for the Roswell Recreation & Aquatic Center went well. Garcia explained cashiering is in the next phase of Tyler and the city will have to use different accounting.

Garcia said her department worked over the weekend to get the 2018-19 fiscal year closed. The next step is for her department to submit the city’s final budget to DFA by July 31, contingent on council approval. Prior to this, the city’s 2019-2020 fiscal year began July 1 and a preliminary budget had to be submitted to the DFA by June 1.

Stubbs asked about the resolution 19-60 for perpetual care funds at the cemetery. Hicks explained these were restricted funds. The agenda’s abstract said the funds were approved by the South Park Cemetery Board to start a $12,014 columbarium project in May of last year.

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.