Van Buren A&P reports on account details

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 117 views 

Maryl Koeth, executive director of the Van Buren Advertising and Promotion (A&P) Commission said that while nothing is official, the May 15 and 16 dates for the Arkansas River Connections spring conference will come to vote on Thursday (Feb. 9) at the group’s meeting in North Little Rock.

Koeth told A&P commissioners she expects the two-day spring conference to take place at the Fort Smith Convention Center, where “between 200 and 250 people” are expected, noting there “would not be a flotilla this time,” in reference to the 2011 event, which “highlighted the Arkansas River’s potential for barge and commercial traffic as well as tourism and recreation,” Koeth said.

Koeth also revealed year-end numbers for the A&P’s assets and liabilities, showing total cash assets for the organization were $185,395.18 with $41,429 in liabilities. Also, November 2011 tax receipts were up by 8.7% from the same time in 2010. Year-to-date tax revenue was at 1.9% above 2010 with lodging receipts up 5.56%, restaurants .96%, and convenience stores and delis up 22.68%. Year-to-date total revenues for 2011 were up 1.6%.

For January, total cash assets remained the same. December 2011 tax receipts were up from the same time in 2010 by 6.5%, 1.2% more than projected in the budget. Year-to-date tax revenue is the same with a 4.4% fall in lodging receipts, a 1.57% rise for restaurants, and convenience stores and delis at 22.76% more than the same period last year.

Koeth noted the heavy overage for convenience stores and delis was because Goody’s Family Yogurt fell into that category.

“We were unsure of where to put them,” she said, noting “most restaurants are cut-and-dry, but a few (like Goody’s) aren’t so easy to classify.”

Generally, Koeth is optimistic about the state of the local economy, gauging it from the outstanding accounts receivable, or those area businesses, who have yet to pay their tax. Outstanding receivables as of December 31, 2011, were $2,319. Eight accounts were one month past due totaling $884; two accounts were two months past due totaling $1,120; and two accounts were three months past due totaling $315.

Additionally, there were six past due accounts for businesses that closed totaling $475. An additional $819 was paid in by Jan. 10, 2012, bringing the number down to $1,975 in past due taxes. By Feb. 3, that number had fallen to $1,405.

“Looking at the drop in past due account totals, it appears the economy is holding its own and even getting a little better. That’s good news. We would love to see it get a whole lot better, but we’ll take what we can get,” Koeth said.