Home News Local News GRT continues to be higher than city’s expectations

GRT continues to be higher than city’s expectations

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Roswell’s gross receipts tax distribution took a slight dip in September, but was still above what the city had budgeted in consideration of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Lodgers tax collection also saw a slight bump in the report for August.

The city’s Finance Committee will hear about the collections when it meets at 9 a.m. Thursday in the Roswell Convention and Civic Center, 912 N. Main.

The finance committee will also consider recommending to the full city council resolutions concerning small business grants from federal coronavirus relief funds, recreation fees, advertising fees and special event fees. The committee will also consider recommending proposals that would award work for the city’s wayfinding system and to reinstate step pay increases for city staff.

The committee will also recognize former City Councilor Steve Henderson, who served as committee chair and vice chair before his term ended in March.

The GRT report included in the committee’s agenda packet shows the distribution for September — from taxes generated in July — was $2,971,997, about $943,000 more than the city budgeted. It’s the fourth consecutive month for an increase since the start of the pandemic and state health orders that closed or restricted many business operations since March.

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In the first three months of fiscal year 2021, the city is almost $3.3 million ahead in GRT collections, according to the report.

In a breakdown of the collections by industry, Roswell’s retail trade continues to be the lead generator, but dipped slightly from about $3 million in June to just over $250 million in July. Construction also was down slightly, but accommodations and food, along with health care and social assistance, saw slight increases.

Lodgers tax collections increased by just over $1,000 from July to August. That’s after dropping to $32,900 in May and increasing to $44,700 the next month. Room occupancy continues to be low, however, at 34.5% in August. Lodging businesses are restricted to 50% occupancy under the state health order.

Among other action items on the agenda, the committee will consider a resolution that would create a partnership with Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corporation to administer federal funds to small businesses.

The city received almost $1.4 million for small business grants through the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration. The funds are from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. The money must be expended by Dec. 30.

The Finance Committee will also consider a resolution reintroducing a fee and rental plan for recreational facilities that failed to gain a majority vote for a recommendation by the General Services Committee last week.

Recreation Manager Marcus Gallegos told that committee his staff has streamlined and updated fees previously approved in 2018 and 2019 in working toward a goal of earning revenue equal to 50% of operating costs.

The Public Information Department will present two resolutions for the committee’s consideration. One would establish fees for advertising on city marquees, buses and at the Air Center. The second would establish fees for services and equipment at special events such as use of city personnel, set-up and tear-down, staging, sound equipment, bleachers and sanitation.

Public Affairs will also request the committee recommend to the full city council approval of GroundWorks Studio to prepare the concept and engineering plans, fabrication and installation of the Roswell Wayfinding System. That project would create cohesive signage and directional markers throughout the city for attractions and other city amenities.

Finally, the committee will consider recommending to the city council to reinstate step increases in pay for employees in supervisory positions or higher. The fiscal 2021 budget modified the city’s classification and compensation plan from 2015, including the increase for frontline positions and union members. If the city council approves, the step increases would go into effect the first pay period of December and is estimated to cost $118,000.

Due to the state’s health orders, the public is encouraged to attend electronically through GoToMeeting. With a computer, tablet or smartphone, the meeting can be viewed at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/822397005. The public can also listen to the meeting over the phone by calling 669-224-3412 and using access code 822-397-005.

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