Craighead County, Jonesboro see sales tax gains in May report

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 102 views 

Craighead County Treasurer Terry McNatt said Wednesday (May 25) that increases in sales tax revenues may be the “new normal” after city and county sales tax coffers saw major increases in the May report.

Craighead County collected $1.61 million from its one cent sales tax in May, up 9.6% from May 2015. Jonesboro’s one cent sales tax brought in $1.45 million in May, up 12.5% compared to May 2015.

McNatt said the collections, which were from transactions in March, may have been helped by the start of local baseball tournaments as well as spring break spending.

“Our unemployment rate is dropping, plus we are the hub for retail and a lot of different things,” McNatt said.

Jonesboro Finance Director Suzanne Allen agreed, saying the city’s average yearly growth over the past five years in sales tax revenue is about $991,000.

“It is indicative of our population growth as well as business growth in the past five years,” Allen said. “We have also attracted more shoppers and outside traffic.”

The city’s sales tax has brought in $7.3 million so far this year, up $1.6 million over the first five months in 2015.

Craighead County has received $7.3 million in sales tax so far this year. The number is up about $700,000 from the same time in 2015. The county has seen 10 consecutive months of sales tax gains. McNatt said the possibility of higher gas prices could have a dampening effect on consumer spending in the regional economy. However, McNatt said a key to the continued sales tax revenue growth is keeping consumer confidence.