Northwest Arkansas businesses collected 1.86% more in sales tax during September which returned $5.508 million to the region’s four largest cities in November, according to the Arkansas Department of Finance report released this week.
The cities of Fayetteville, Springdale and Rogers each posted slight sale tax gains from a year ago, while Bentonville’s revenue fell a little short.
Each of the five cities collect a 2% sales tax which is divided evenly between the cities’ general operating fund and the repayment of bonds. This report tracks the city’s portion, or 1% of the tax collected. November revenue represents sales taxes collected in September by the cities, creating a two-month lag in the data.
MONTHLY TAX REVENUE (November report; data represents a 1% sales tax, compared to prior year period)
• Bentonville: $1.216 million, down 3.98%
• Fayetteville: $1.765 million, up 3.84%
• Rogers: $1.454 million, up 4.30%
• Springdale: $1.071, up 2.48%
City officials credit the higher sales tax revenue trend to the strong job market in the region.The metro unemployment was 2.9% in September, down from 3.3% in the year-ago period. Razorback football and Bikes, Blues and Barbecue typically help the September sales tax revenue base.
Despite conflicting data on consumer sentiment ahead of the general election local businesses report steady traffic. City officials also report continued new business expansion throughout much of 2016. Through November the four cities have added $57.086 million to their coffers, compared to $54.241 million in the same period last year. All four cities report higher sales tax in 2016 and are on pace for record revenue as the year winds down.
YEAR-TO-DATE SALES TAX REVENUE (January through November)
• Bentonville: $10.367 million, up 1.63%
• Fayetteville: $18.759 million, up 5.01%
• Rogers: $15.806 million, up 7.38%
• Springdale: $12.053 million, up 6.07%