Consumers were spending in full force in recent months according to sales tax revenue reported for Northwest Arkansas’ four largest cities.
Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers and Bentonville reported combined record sales tax revenue totaling $5.138 million in June, up 8.12% from a year ago. Each of the city reported positive gains ranging from 2.32% in Rogers to 26% in neighboring Bentonville.
The June sales tax revenue report reflects consumer spending in April. Each city collects 2% local sales tax on top of state taxes for goods and services. Half of that local revenue goes toward debt repayment and the remaining 1% is funneled into the city’s operating budget. This report reflects the latter.
JUNE REVENUE (April transactions)
• Bentonville: $841,751, up 26.25%
• Fayetteville: $1.791 million, up 4.43%
• Rogers: $1.441 million, up 2.32%
• Springdale: $1.127 million, up 10.27%
The two largest retail centers in the region were the laggers in June but Rogers and Fayetteville each had record months for June. In Fayetteville the active Farmer’s Market opened for the season and the University of Arkansas baseball team pulled in large crowds throughout its extended season.
City leaders expect the city will see revenue growth this year behind the growing population and low unemployment rate. Through the first half of calendar 2017 tax revenue in Fayetteville is $10.527 million, up 3.84% from a year ago.
Rogers remains ahead of budget through the first half of the year. The city budgeted $16.5 million in sales tax revenue this year collections totaling $9.205 million or nearly 56% of that amount through June. Sales tax revenue is up 8.56% year-to-date from a year ago, up 16.8% from two years ago.
The city expects revenue growth throug the summer with several high profile acts to perform at the Walmart AMP. Blink 182, Boston each performed in April. Mary j. Blige performed June 3, ZZ Top performed June 9. Willie Nelson and Sheryl Crow are slated for July 6, Third Eye Blind will go on stage July 12 and Hank Williams Jr., Rascal Flatts, Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton are scheduled for shows in July.
Several new eateries are also on tap for Rogers from Tacos 4 Life to Smitty’s Garage and a new Chick-fil-A also located on Pauline Whitaker Parkway near the Walmart AMP. Sales tax revenue through June reported by Rogers totals $9.205 million, up 8.56% from the same period last year.
Springdale has seen growth in its sales tax this year as the city continues to add new eateries and some new retail such as the new Sam’s Club which opened in May. The new Dunkin Donuts is located at 4126 Elm Springs Road in Springdale and a Azul Tequila Mexican Cantina restaurant is planned for 4312 Elm Springs Road. Thus far in 2017 the city reports $6.917 million in sales tax revenue, up 8.89%.
Bentonville’s sales tax revenue is also off to solid gains over a year ago with revenue totaling $5.842 million through June, up 9.79% over the year-ago period. Reggie’s Pizza at 1001 SW Regional Airport Blvd., and Hello Cocoa at 801 SW 8th St. have filed permits for new establishments or remodels with the Arkansas State Health Department.
Bentonville has had some wide month-to-month swings in its sales tax revenue reports as the city is often subject to rebates generated by Wal-Mart Stores. This keeps the city projections for growth conservative, according to Mayor Bob McCaslin. He said Crystal Bridges also generates sales tax revenue for the city. The Chihuly exhibit on display Saturday evenings through Aug. 12 is drawing big crowds.
SALES TAX REVENUE (January through June)
2017: $5.842 million
2016: $5.321 million
2017: $10.527 million
2016: $10.137 million
2017: $9.205 million
2016: $8.479 million
2017: $6.914 million
2016: $6.342 million