Sales tax rally continues through September across Northwest Arkansas

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 665 views 

Sales tax revenue in Northwest Arkansas’ four largest cities continues to set records. Fayetteville, Bentonville, Springdale and Rogers reported a combined $49.674 million in sales tax revenue through September of this year, up 7.85% compared with $46.057 million in the same period of 2016.

Each city collects 2% local sales tax on goods sold and services rendered. Half of that goes to retire debt and the other 1% is funneled into the city’s operations budget. This report reflects the latter 1%.

September was a positive month for each of the four cities in the report. September revenue reflects sales receipts in July, creating a two-month lag in the reporting. Combined September sales revenue totaled $5.601 million, up 4.61% from the year-ago period.

Following are the September report numbers from the four cities:
• Bentonville: $1.086 million, up 11.03%
• Fayetteville: $1.729 million, up 0.04%
• Rogers: $1.520 million up 4.97%
• Springdale: $1.265 million, up 5.54%

Revenue collected through September of this year totaled $13.81 million in Rogers, up 6.89% over the year-to-date revenue in 2016. The city budgeted $16.5 million for the full year and remains in good fiscal shape through September, having collected 83.6% of that budget to date.

Springdale’s tax revenue collections through September total $10.863 million, up 10.6% from a year ago. City officials said Springdale residents are spending more of their money in the city at the Sam’s Club and several new restaurants. Mayor Doug Sprouse expects revenue growth to continue when Arkansas Children’s opens in January, bringing 250 new jobs to town.

Fayetteville is seeing the least growth this year in sales tax revenue and that could be because nearby residents in Springdale are spending more in that city. Through September, Fayetteville revenue totaled $15.893 million, up 3.73% over the same period in 2016.

In Bentonville, sales tax revenue is up 13.9% through September compared to a year ago. Revenue totals $9.106 million, up more than $1.113 million over the same period last year. This was best September on record for revenue and it was fourth month this year that revenue topped $1 million.

Consumer confidence readings in July – the month that correlates with spending in the September sales tax revenue report – were more positive on the economy overall, according The Conference Board.

“Consumers’ assessment of current conditions remained at a 16-year high in July and their expectations for the short-term outlook improved somewhat after cooling last month [June]. Overall, consumers foresee the current economic expansion continuing well into the second half of this year,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.

City leaders in Northwest Arkansas have told Talk Business & Politics they expect strong sales revenue through the fall with events bringing visitors to the region, from Razorback football, to craft fairs, bike trail events and the recent Bikes, Blues & BBQ, which reportedly brought 10,000 visitors to the region over the past weekend.