Craighead County, Jonesboro Sales Tax Figures Rebound

by Michael Wilkey ([email protected]) 131 views 

Officials were hoping for only a slight increase when details of sales tax revenues for Jonesboro and Craighead County were released Friday.

Their hopes were supported with figures as both Craighead County and Jonesboro saw large increases in sales tax revenues for the June 2015 report.

The numbers – based on collections from April 2015 – showed Jonesboro brought in $1,348,040 while Craighead County drew $1,491,833.18.

The Jonesboro figures were up 7.3% compared to June 2014, while the Craighead County numbers were up 7.99% compared to the same period, officials said.

It was nearly a 12.5% swing for Jonesboro, which had a 5% drop in sales tax revenues in May. Meanwhile, Craighead County, which had a 3% drop in May, saw an 11% swing over both months.

Both Jonesboro and Craighead County officials were at a loss for a reason for the increase.

Jonesboro Finance Director Ben Barylske said he believes good weather along with the cost of fuel remaining relatively low played a role in the increase.

“I also think people are feeling better about the economy,” Barylske said, noting the city’s sales tax revenues are up about $440,000 through June compared to the same time in 2014.

After a drop in May, Craighead County Treasurer Terry McNatt said the increase was welcome news.

“I got a call about it (Friday) and I was very thankful,” McNatt said of the number.

McNatt said he had returned Monday from a county treasurer’s meeting in Fort Smith, where he had heard from other treasurers around the state about their finances.

Many of the treasurers conveyed their county’s sales tax and finances were facing lower numbers, McNatt said.

McNatt also agreed with Barylske’s comments about the fuel prices helping revenues.

Gas prices in the Jonesboro area were in the $2.35 to $2.40 range Monday afternoon.

However, McNatt said an improved housing market may also help.