Results Mixed With Craighead County, Jonesboro Sales Tax Revenue

by Talk Business and Politics ([email protected]) 142 views 

The October 2015 sales tax revenue reports for Craighead County and Jonesboro followed the proverbial yo-yo as both get closer to ending their calendar year. The Craighead County sales tax was narrowly up for October while the city’s one-cent sales tax saw a small drop.

The Craighead County one-cent sales tax brought in $1.555 million in October, up 0.83% compared to October 2014, according to information provided Friday (Oct. 23). The Jonesboro sales tax collected $1.375 million in October, down 0.85% compared to October 2014.

The county’s sales tax has brought in $15.29 million for the first 10 reporting months of the year, up 12.98% compared to the same period of 2014. Collections are expected to exceed the $17.57 million collected during 2014.

Jonesboro Deputy Finance Director Mike Burroughs said while the city saw a small decrease in October, collections are up for the year and above what was budgeted. The city’s sales tax has brought in $13.8 million so far this year, up 4.64% compared to the same reporting period in 2014.

Traditionally, the numbers released on a given month are based on figures collected two months before. The October 2015 numbers are based on what was taken in during August 2015. Craighead County Treasurer Terry McNatt said he expected the figures to be higher than what was posted.

“I was hoping for more,” McNatt said.

McNatt said two events may have cancelled each other out in August. The city of Jonesboro hosted the Cal Ripken 10-and-under national baseball tournament in August, bringing several thousand people to the city from around the country. However, the state held its annual sales tax weekend for school supplies, clothing and other items with customers not having to pay sales tax on certain items.

Burroughs said the economy is somewhat hard to gauge, with good local numbers and bad national numbers. However, he said job opportunities are up with the jobs possibly creating more spending money for people.

According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Jonesboro metro had 59,670 employed in August, well ahead of the 56,064 in August 2014. The metro jobless rate in August was 4.4%, better than the 5.5% in August 2014.

There has also been an increase in restaurants in Jonesboro in the past year, which may have also led to the increases, Burroughs said.