Area sales tax collections post strong gains

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 37 views 

Area retail businesses posted a 9.41% uptick in January sales tax collections among region’s five largest retail centers. The healthy increase from the prior-year period is linked to a trickled- down effect from the opening of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.

The cities of Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and Siloam Springs together reported $5.144 million in sales tax collections last month. A year ago, the same cities collected $4.701 million.

February’s tax revenue reflects sales in December, remitted to the state in January, creating a two-month lag in the city reporting. Each of the five cities collects a 2% sales tax which is divided evenly between the cities’ general operating fund and the repayment of bonds.

Four of the five cities surveyed saw increases in recent tax revenue.

2012 FEBRUARY TAX COLLECTIONS (Data represents a 2% sales tax collected by each city, compared to prior year period.)
Bentonville: $1.009 million, up 39.5%
Fayetteville: $1.661 million, up 2.11%
Rogers: $1.305 million, up 5.57%
Siloam Springs: $260,293, down 7.63%
Springdale: $907,683, up 8.88%

“I was excited to see Bentonville get off to such a strong 2012. While it’s still a little early to tell, we think we’re feeling the effects of Crystal Bridges and the increased traffic the museum is bringing to the city,” said Denise Land, finance director for the city of Bentonville.

Land said with the recent collections including holiday shopping traffic, the region’s two largest retail centers — Rogers and Fayetteville — did not see the fat increase that Bentonville did, which leads her to credit Crystal Bridges for the nice uptick in collections.

Springdale continues to see higher collections consistently posting gains since June 2011. City officials say the past three to four months have been the best seen in more than three years, after the loss of Sam’s Club to Fayetteville followed by 2008 recession.

Fayetteville and Rogers say collections are ahead of budget to start 2012.

2012: $1,009 million
2011: $724,080

2012: $1.661 million
2011: $1.626 million

2012: $1.305 million
2011: $1.236 million

Siloam Springs
2012: $260,293
2011: $281,821

2012: $907,683
2011: $833,630

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