Mesa Messenger Editorial Staff
February 10, 2017
GRAND JUNCTION — If you had a dollar more or a dollar less each month would it be consequential to everything else in your life?
Optimistically it wouldn’t be, so a sales tax increase of one quarter of one percent in Grand Junction to assist in funding construction of an event center and expansion to Two Rivers Convention Center should be a positive thing.
Or at least not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things.
In the upcoming municipal election for city council seats, another item on the ballot will be this quarter percent sales tax increase, from 2.75% to 3%, to cover some of the costs of development and operation of an expanded convention center and new event center in Grand Junction.
If the idea of an increase in taxes sounds bad, negative, or not worth it in any circumstance, consider a few things before continuing with that line of thought—the sales tax rate in the City of Grand Junction is currently .55% lower than average of comparable cities in Colorado, and .25% lower than Fruita, Delta and Palisade.
Anywhere in the Grand Valley, increase or not, we have a low sales tax rate.
Besides the specifics benefits to the local economy an expanded capacity for stadium events and conventions that would be made possible by a 5,000 seat event center, sales tax is a major revenue for the city government and any increase in revenue is tangible.
Our nice parks, the Riverfront trail, remodeled central library, and freshly paved and painted roads don’t appear out of thin air. And due to the healthy tourism industry in the area, a lot of sales tax is paid by nonresidents and visitors, and stays here even if they don’t.
If that isn’t enough, the projected direct and indirect jobs created from an event center next to Two Rivers Convention Center, and improvements to the existing facilities, is 401 new jobs.
That’s not even counting the construction jobs created during the new development.
Besides conferences and conventions, an event center of this size means concerts, events, and more minor league sports teams can be possible in this area.