Sales tax revenue dips in April for Northwest Arkansas cities, up overall year-to-date

by Kim Souza (ksouza@talkbusiness.net) 266 views 

Sales tax revenue for the four largest Northwest Arkansas cities was mostly lower in the April report as the cumulative totaled $5.018 million, down 2.16% from a year ago. Rogers was the only city among the four to show positive revenue.

The April report reflects consumer spending on goods and services in February. There is a two-month lag in the reporting. Each city collects a 2% local tax on goods and services, half of that goes to retire debt and the remaining 1% is funneled into the city’s operating budget. This report reflects the latter.

Rogers posted revenue of $1.375 million in the April report, up 4.06% from a year ago. While the growth was the best in the region, it paled in comparison to the 12.86% growth the city reported in April 2016. The April revenue is the also the lowest monthly collection so far this year for Rogers. City officials have budgeted monthly collections of $1.375 million for a total budget of $16.5 million for this year. Through the first four months of 2017, Rogers revenue collections are $730,000 ahead of budget.

Bentonville revenues were down 6.23% in April with a total collections of $932,899 for the month. A year ago the city reported sales tax revenue growth of 17.9%. Thus far in 2017 Bentonville continues to repeat its roller coaster pattern though April’s dip was somewhat expected given the city reported gains of 27.25% in March. City officials have come to expect the wide swings in revenue relating to rebates from the city’s largest employer. Bentonville is $529,868 ahead of budget through the first four months of this year.

Springdale sales tax revenue slid 3.69% in April with total collections of $1.08 million. A year ago, the city reported sales tax revenue growth of 22.64% also reflecting a likely slowdown in spending earlier this year. While total revenue was softer last month it was still the second best April on record for the city. Through the first four months of this year Springdale revenue is up 4.57% with total collections of $4.456 million, compared to $4.261 million a year ago.

Fayetteville’s April sales revenue was down 3.62% from a year ago. The city collected $1.63 million in revenue last month, the second best April on record. That said, a year ago the city reported sales growth of 15.91%. For the first four months of this year sales tax revenue in Fayetteville has been a mixed bag, but with the 12.68% increase in March city officials weren’t surprised to see a softer April. Like the other cities in this report Fayetteville’s sales tax revenue is tracking slightly ahead of budget through April.

There are also several new retail stores and restaurants on tap for the local region which is a good sign from investors for continued economic growth in the two-county area. Following are some of the new openings and announced projects.

Rogers:
• Smitty’s Garage Burgers & Beer has scoped a location at 4200 S. 48th St., Suite 10.
• Angus Jack restaurant planned for 1001 SW Airport Road in Rogers.
• Juicy Tails planned at 4204 J.B. Hunt Drive, Suite 100, on the west side of I-49 near Walmart Amp.
• Tuesday Morning planned for 208 S. Promenade Blvd.

Bentonville:
• Yeyo’s Mexican Grill will occupy space in the new 8th Street Market near downtown,

Springdale
• Cotton Patch Cafe to be located at 4101 W Sunset Ave.
• Tacos 4 Life Grill at 6400 W Sunset Ave.
• Azul Tequila at 4312 Elm Springs Road

Fayetteville
• Smoothie King at 637 W. Joyce Blvd, Suite 116
• Core Pubs at 2558 Mission Boulevard

REGIONAL SALES TAX REVENUE (January through April)
Bentonville
2017: $3.896 million
2016: $3.722 million
4.67%

Fayetteville
2017: $7.006 million
2016: $6.804 million
2.96%

Rogers
2017: $6.230 million
2016: $5.530 million
12.65%

Springdale
2017: $4.561 million
2016: $4.261 million
7.07%

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