November sales tax revenue report flat against last year

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 285 views 

Cumulative sales tax revenue growth slowed in the past couple of months after posting hefty gains in the summer. Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers and Bentonville reported combined sales tax revenue of $5.57 million in November, up fractionally from the $5.508 million reported in the same month last year. The November revenue came on the heels of a 0.79% gain reported in October.

November revenue reflects the local sales tax of goods and services rendered in September. Each city collects 2% local sales tax of goods and services. Half of that tax goes toward debt retirement and the remaining 1% is funnelled into the cities’ respective budgets. This report reflects the latter.

Following are the November revenue reports for the four cities.
• Bentonville: $907,681, down 23.7%
• Fayetteville: $1.796 million, up 1.73%
• Rogers: $1.635 million, up 12.39%
• Springdale: $1.231 million, up 14.97%

Bentonville bucked the growth trend again in November marking the fourth month this year the city has reported declining revenue. City officials said rebates often cause the wide swings in their revenue reports and this year has been no exception. Mayor Bob McCaslin said the city budgets conservatively and overall is happy with the revenue gains this year.

Through November Bentonville has reported revenue of $10.997 million, up 6.7% from the $10.306 million reported a year ago. McCaslin has said there are plenty of uses for the money with the rapid growth the city continues to experience amid a robust real estate market and new businesses across the city.

Rogers reported its fourth biggest month for revenue growth in November after experiencing low single-digit gains through the summer months. The city also said this was its best November on record. Through the first 11 months of this year, Rogers reports total tax revenue of $16.921 million, up 7.06% from the $15.805 million reported a year ago. City officials said the annual budgeted revenue of $16.5 million was surpassed in November. The city expects to have revenue collection gains through the end of the year with new retail venues recently opening such as At Home, Smitty’s Garage and Juicy Tales.

Springdale continues to benefit from new retail in that city which helped to push its sales tax revenue up by mid-double-digit gains last month. Through November the city reports revenue at $13.272 million, up 10.11% from the $12.053 million reported a year ago. Mayor Doug Sprouse said the Sam’s Club which opened in May is helping the city with some pretty big gains in the back half of this year.

Fayetteville, the largest of the four cities continues to see only modest sales growth through the summer months and fall. Through November sales tax revenue totals $19.531 million, up 3.56% from $18.858 million reported a year ago. Fayetteville also said the November revenue was the best showing in more than seven years. City leaders said revenue is running slightly ahead of budget and they expect modest sales growth through the end of the year.

Sales tax revenue is closely correlated with consumer sentiment and overall economic outlook. Consumer confidence dipped slightly in September which correlates to the November sales tax results. The major reason for the dip was the unknown impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The following month consumers confidence rebounded to its highest level in 13 years, according to the University of Michigan Index. In November “confidence also ranked higher amid American consumers’ increasing confidence and certainty about their income and employment prospects,” said Richard Curtin, chief economist over the survey.

“It’s the best runup to the holiday shopping season in a decade,” Curtin noted in the release.

SALES TAX REVENUE (Jan. through Nov.)
2017: $10.997 million
2016: $10.306 million

2017: $19.531 million
2016: $18.858 million

2017: $16.921 million
2016: $15.805 million

2017: $13.272 million
2016: $12.053 million