Here's how gross receipts tax revenue has fared during the coronavirus pandemic
AZTEC — The June distribution of gross receipts tax revenue — which is based on April spending — was lower than the previous months’ distribution in most parts of the county.
The exception to that was Bloomfield, which received $391,000 in its May distribution, which was based on March spending. Its June distribution was higher — $409,000, according to data from the New Mexico Department of Taxation and Revenue. This data is available on the department's website.
The May and June distributions were the first look local governments had at how the COVID-19 pandemic would impact their pocketbooks. Because gross receipts tax revenue is distributed two months after the spending occurs, there are less than two months of data for finance departments to evaluate.
It is not uncommon for there to be spikes in the gross receipts tax distributions. These can be caused by taxpayers realizing they had underpaid and making up for that underpayment or even realizing they had overpaid, leading to a refund.
Gross receipts tax makes up the majority of the cities’ general fund budgets.
The full impact COVID-19 will have on local government and the economy remains uncertain. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced delaying phase two of the reopening plan as the rate of infection began to grow going into July.
The governor has warned that if New Mexico fails to flatten the curve restrictions could be put back in place and businesses that reopened in June could be forced to close their doors once again.
Here's a look at the gross receipts tax distributions:
Town of Kirtland: Kirtland saw a spike of approximately $10,000 in gross receipts tax revenue based on the March spending. While that does not seem like a lot for most municipalities, Kirtland's distributions in 2019 ranged about $52,500 to less than $87,000. Its April distribution was less than $57,000, but its May distribution jumped to more than $66,000. Its June distribution decreased but remained higher than the April distribution. Kirtland received nearly $61,000 in gross receipts tax revenue in June.
The June distribution Kirtland received was approximately the same that it received in 2019. The May distribution was about $5,000 more than the 2019 distribution for that same month.
City of Bloomfield: While Bloomfield's distributions have increased over the past couple of months, they remain lower than the 2019 levels. The May distribution in 2019 was nearly $425,500 and last year's June distribution was more than $418,700 — slightly higher than this year's distribution.
City of Aztec: Spending in Aztec has remained lower throughout 2020 than it was in 2019. Like other parts of the county, Aztec saw a spike in spending in March. The May distribution of $325,000 — which was based on March spending — was more than $50,000 greater than the previous months' distribution. However that was still $18,000 less than the city received for that same month in 2019, according to data from the New Mexico Department of Taxation and Revenue.
And the June distribution, which is based on April spending, was more than $25,000 less than the previous month's distribution and $46,000 below the 2019 distribution for that same month.
City of Farmington: Like Aztec, Farmington saw an increase in spending in March but its gross receipts tax distributions remain lower than 2019 levels.
Farmington's May distribution of $4.8 million was a more than $370,000 increase from the previous month, but $467,000 less than the previous year's distribution for the same month.
The June distribution was slightly higher than the April distribution, which is based in February spending. Farmington received nearly $4.5 million in gross receipts revenue in June, which was about $36,000 more than its April distribution and nearly $339,000 less than the May distribution.
The June distribution was more than $400,000 less than the city received in 2019 for the same month.
San Juan County: The March spending brought in more gross receipts tax revenue for the county than the 2019 spending did for the same month. In 2019, March spending led to the county receiving $2.6 million in May. This year, the county received $2.89 million. The April distribution for 2020 was also higher than the 2019 distribution — $2.7 million this year compared to $2.5 million in 2019.
The June distribution was $448,000 less than the May distribution and $404,000 less than the June 2019 distribution.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at email@example.com.
Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e