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City sees increase in June lodgers’ tax report

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

The city of Roswell’s lodgers’ tax collections topped $100,000 in June, the first time collections have hit that mark in more than a year and a half.

Reports on lodgers’ tax, convention center fees and gross receipts taxes are among the agenda items for Thursday’s meeting of the Roswell City Council’s Finance Committee.

The meeting will be at 9 a.m. Thursday in the large conference room of City Hall, 425 N. Richardson Ave.

The public can participate through GoToMeeting by computer, tablet or smartphone at global.gotomeeting.com/join/822397005 or by phone by calling 669-224-3412  and using access code 822-397-005.

According to the lodgers’ tax report included in the meeting’s agenda packet, the city collected $100,727 for June, which reflects hotel activity from the prior month.

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The city has not collected more than $100,000 since November 2019, according to the four-year trends shown in the report. Typically, lodgers’ tax collections decrease in December and start trending upward in March or April, but the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 and restrictions on hotel occupancies kept the collections below normal levels. The June 2020 collection was only $44,713.

The city collected a total of $740,916 in lodgers’ tax for fiscal year 2021 — which ran from July 2020 to June 2021. That equalled 67% of the previous year’s $1.1 million and about 63% of the $1.2 million average of the previous three years.

Convention center fees also show some improvement, with $59,975 collected in June. That’s also the highest amount collected since November 2019.

The city collected $563,419 in convention center fees for fiscal year 21, compared to $610,500 in the previous fiscal year.

Gross receipts tax collections in July — which reflect activity from May — were down, however. The city collected $2.8 million, or 5.3% less than July 2020’s $3 million.

The July collection was also about $162,000 less than the city anticipated in its budget.

Finance Committee members will also consider giving their recommendation on several items at Thursday’s meeting, including the purchase of new equipment and roof replacement on the Roswell Test Facility.

Among the largest equipment purchases is the replacement of a Caterpillar scraper at the landfill that was involved in a rollover crash. Wagner Equipment, El Paso, Texas, evaluated the scraper and determined the cab was no longer able to be certified and other damages were too extensive for repair, according to the abstract included in the agenda packet.

Insurance is expected to pay $355,000. Wagner Equipment has submitted a quote for a new Caterpillar of the same model for $907,410. The difference of $552,410 will come from the Solid Waste fund cash balance of $5.9 million.

The committee will also consider its recommendation for authorization to purchase a John Deere excavator, loader and two backhoes for the Water Maintenance Department. The $446,727 purchases are included in the fiscal 22 budget.

The excavator will be new to the city’s equipment fleet while the loader and backhoes will be replacements. The older loader will be moved to the city’s Streets Department and the backhoes will be moved to other departments, according to the agenda information.

A $100,000 purchase of a new dump truck is also on the agenda. The purchase is part of the city’s fleet rotation plan.

The committee will also consider bids from RoofCare, Las Cruces, to replace roofs on buildings at the Roswell Test Facility, 3801 E. Second St. The former federal facility is leased to water heater manufacturer A.O. Smith, but the city has attempted to sell the facility recently.

The roofs of the buildings need replacing due to recent storms and age, according to the agenda information. The total cost for the three buildings would be $627,131.

The committee will also consider its recommendations for resolutions containing a budget amendment for $5.8 million in revenue and expenses from the American Rescue Plan, disposal of surplus property and the city’s commitment to funding its transit system.

Also on the agenda are approval of a scope of work for contractors for temporary employment services, spending $105,000 to outfit the 10 new police vehicles the city has purchased and ranking capital projects for the Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan.

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

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