The 2011 holiday sales in Fort Smith were up almost 10% compared to the 2010 period, according to collections of city sales taxes.
In the January and February 2012 reports provided by the city of Fort Smith, each of the 1% city sales taxes collected $3.634 million, up 9.65%. The January and February reports show transactions made in November and December, respectively.
The January report showed that November transactions were up 8.63% compared to November 2010. And December transactions were even better.
The February report showed that each of the 1% city sales taxes collected $1.585 million, up 11%, and up 11.64% compared to budget estimates.
Also, January and February collection reports of the city’s portion of the 1% countywide sales tax totaled $2.8 million, up 7.65% compared to the same reporting period in 2011. The February report showed that the city’s portion of the tax totaled $1.241 million, up 10.8%, and up 10.05% compared to budget estimates.
The January and February reports for the city and countywide tax continue a positive trend that began in 2011. Sales tax collections in Fort Smith during 2011 were up 3.9%, and the city’s portion of the countywide sales tax was up 1.77% for the year, with the increases ending a two-year decline.
Record collections for both taxes were posted in 2008, with each of the city’s 1% collections garnering $20.613 million, and the countywide tax generating $16.61 million during the reporting period.
Increases with the countywide tax added $199,759 in revenue to the city’s general fund than in the 2011 period — welcome news for a city that has faced budget pressures in the past three years.
A majority of the general fund budget — funded by the countywide tax collection proceeds — supports fire, police and other critical city functions. The city made more than $1.43 million in budget cuts in 2010 to respond to revenue shortfalls. The biggest cut was a $717,000 reduction in payments to the city’s health & wellness fund. The cuts in 2010 and pushed forward into 2011 also include a decrease of about 28 full-time positions, and a $790,000 proposed cut to payments into the health & wellness fund.
The Fort Smith Board of Directors also approved $777,000 in budget cuts — including eliminating funding for televising the city board meetings — in 2011 to find operating money for the Fort Smith Convention Center.
Van Buren tax collections totaled $280,404 during January, up 1.3% according to information from the Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration. For all of 2011, Van Buren tax collections totaled $3.613 million, up compared to $3.568 million during 2010, and up compared to $3.55 million during 2009.
PREVIOUS ANNUAL COLLECTION INFO
2% sales tax collection (1% for streets; 1% for water/sewer bonds)
2011: $38.683 million
2010: $37.229 million
2009: $37.554 million
2008: $41.226 million
2007: $37.858 million
2006: $36.840 million
Fort Smith portion of 1% countywide sales tax
2011: $15.15 million
2010: $14.89 million
2009: $15.04 million
2008: $16.61 million
2007: $15.15 million
2006: $14.71 million
PROPERTY TAX (ad valorem) REVENUE
2011: $11.458 million
2010: $11.105 million
2009: $10.092 million
2008: $9.381 million
FRANCHISE FEE REVENUE (with % comparison to previous year)
2011: $6.571 million (1.23%)
2010: $6.492 million (8.37%)
2009: $5.99 million (-18.68%)
2008: $7.366 million (8.97%)
2007: $6.76 million (-8.72%)
2006: $7.406 million (8.38%)