Gross receipts revenue up for second year

Kevin Wilson

For the second consecutive year, Clovis has experienced an uptick in gross receipts tax revenues.

Revenues from gross receipts taxes (GRT) increased 4.5 percent from 2010 to 2011 and 2.6 percent from 2009 to 2010, according to totals released from the city. That follows a 1.99 percent drop from 2008 to 2009.

Chase Gentry, executive director for the Clovis Industrial Development Corporation, said the numbers help make the case when he tries to recruit new business into the area.

“I think we show them the economy’s strong, “Gentry said. “When we look at the things we produce, it will show trends in revenues. We can say we’ve got a very strong economy that’s growing. That’s one indicator, as well as housing and the construction markets.

“In this economy, just to be holding steady is good. We’ve had two years of slight increases.”

New Mexico does not have a sales tax, but has a gross receipts tax for most purchases. The city brought in $23.2 million in GRT in 2011, up from $22.2 million in 2010 and $21.6 million in 2009.

Gentry said likely reasons for the increase include more personnel at Cannon Air Force Base, and new local businesses — including Quality Local Feeds — bringing in GRT on their products sold. Also, he said, rising food prices have contributed.

For the city, the increase is mostly in the past, because the city bases its budget on a fiscal calendar, and the months with the highest increases fell in the 2010-11 fiscal year.

“If you take the last six months, it’s up less than 1 percent,” Clovis City Finance Director Don Clifton said. “So we’re relatively flat.”

Most of the higher GRT months fell in the first half of 2011, which Clifton said certainly helped the city.

“We were able to give a 2 percent pay raise, do a few capital outlay projects,” Clifton said.

A change in GRT revenues up or down doesn’t nearly affect Curry County’s budget as much, since its budget is about one-fourth the size of the city’s and it receives most of its money through property taxes.

At least one condition favors another uptick next January — a higher GRT rate. Starting Sunday, the city’s gross receipts tax jumped .25 percent from 7.5625 to 7.8125 percent. The tax increase, which sunsets in 10 years, is dedicated to paying for Clovis’ share of the Ute Water Project.

Year City GRTs collected* % change**
2005 20.016 +8.77
2006 20.789 +3.86
2007 20.559 -1.21
2008 22.052 +7.33
2009 21.615 -1.99
2010 22.171 +2.6
2011 23.168 +4.5

* In millions

** From previous year