The four largest cities in Northwest Arkansas saw their sales tax revenue rebound in April with $5.129 million reported by Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers and Springdale city offices. Revenue jumped 16.88% from the $4.388 million reported a year ago and it reversed the 2.11% dip in March.
Springdale led the way for the strong month with a 22.64% increase in April revenue compared to last year; but all four of the cities in this report posted double-digit revenue gains.
Each of the cities collect a 2% local sales tax on goods and services and the April revenue reflects taxes collected in February. Half of the revenue goes toward debt reduction, while the remaining 1% is funneled into the city’s operating fund. This report reflects the latter.
Following are the revenue totals for each city in the April report.
• Bentonville: $994,860, up 17.9%
• Fayetteville: $1.691 million, up 15.91%
• Rogers: $1.321 million, up 12.86%
• Springdale: $1.121 million, up 22.64%
While the April revenue was not the biggest month of collections this year, it was the best April on record for each of the cities and there were no complaints from city officials about the solid revenue gains recorded this month.
Mayor Bob McCaslin of Bentonville said recently that the city’s sales tax revenue is up and down throughout the year, but the important factor is that the overall trend is rising from one year to the next as more businesses locate and grow in Bentonville and the surrounding area.
Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan expects the strong growth his city has witnessed in 2015 to continue through 2016 based on the business expansion, population growth and stronger local economy.
Through the first four reporting months of 2016, the four cities have collected $20.317 million, up 8.02% from the same period last year. The revenue is up 17.16% from two years ago and 15.68% higher than the same period in 2013.
City officials said they budged for a modest increase in sales tax revenue this year and by early returns they are ahead of expectations and budget with a lot of the year still left to unwind. Each of the cities report sales tax revenue gains of more than 40% over a year ago though the first four months of 2016.
Economists say a warm winter and low fuel prices have been a positive for consumer spending through the first quarter of 2016. Consumer sentiment has been fairly steady through the first quarter of 2016.
“This stability reflects more positive personal finances being offset by less favorable prospects for the economy,” said Richard Curtin, the chief economist of the University of Michigan survey. “Indeed, consumers were more optimistic about their inflation-adjusted income expectations than any time since 2007.”
SALES TAX REVENUE (January through April reports)
2016: $3.722 million
2015: $2.526 million
2016: $6.804 million
2015: $4.814 million
2016: $5.530 million
2015: $3.906 million
2016: $4.261 million
2015: $2.911 million