Combined sales tax revenue in March report up 0.9% in top four cities

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 302 views 

Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers and Springdale posted sales tax revenue in the March report of $5.169 million, up 0.97% from the year-ago period. Bentonville and Fayetteville reported positive revenue growth this month, while Rogers and Springdale revenues were down from the prior year period.

Each city collects a 2% local tax on the sale of goods and services. Half of that tax goes toward reducing city debt and the remaining 1% flows into city operating budgets. This report reflects the latter. March revenue reflects sales tax collected in January creating a two-month lag in the reporting.

Following is the revenue by each city in the March report.
Bentonville: $1.072 million, up 9.26%
Fayetteville: $1.662 million, up 4.17%
Rogers: $1.368 million, down 3.08%
Springdale: $1.067 million, down 5.67%

Over the past 5 years, March revenue for the four cities in the report has been up by double-digit growth for three years, down one year and flat this year. City leaders in the region remain bullish on revenue growth fueled by continued population growth of about 34 people per day between July 2016 and July 2017. The region is the 14th fastest growing metro in the country in 2017, up from 20th place in 2016.

Low overall unemployment and recent tax reductions for most households is also a good sign for continued consumer spending. Inflationary pressures are expected to dampen spending toward the end of the year into 2019. Rising interest rates and higher overall transportation costs likely to impact the price of goods in the coming months, according to Donald Broughton and author of the February Cass Freight Index Report.

Through the first three months of 2018 the four cities received revenue totaling $20.462 million, up 22.7% from the same months in 2016. Bentonville city officials have said they expect modest growth in 2018 and remain encouraged from the continued construction across the city from multi family homes to downtown flats and as well as commercial projects, many of which will house retail storefront businesses. Bentonville’s tax revenue growth through first three months of 2018 totals $6.546 million, compared to $2.963 million a year ago representing a 120% year-over-year gain.

Rogers will be home to a third Chick-fil-A next month, and it’s located near the Walmart AMP just off exit 83 from Interstate 49. Rogers has received revenue totaling $4.811 million through March, almost flat against the $4.855 million reported a year ago. The city budgeted $17.2 million this year which averages  $1.433 million monthly. March was the first month the city has undershot that goal. The city is still ahead of budget through the first quarter by about $511,000.

Springdale is off a steady start in 2018, despite the March dip. Through the first three months Springdale received revenue totaling $3.502 million, up compared with $3.481 million in the year-ago period. Mayor Doug Sprouse said recently in his State of the City address Sam’s Club’s opening in late May last year made a noticeable impact on the city’s monthly sales tax revenue.

“Sam’s have set the stage for more retail and entertainment development in the overlay district, making the most of great anchors such as Arvest Ballpark and now Children’s Northwest. There are already plans for another multi-story tower, located just to the north of Children’s Northwest. To the south, at the southeast corner of Don Tyson Parkway and Gene George Boulevard, plans have been announced for a $180 million business development.”

Fayetteville is also benefiting from steady 4.2% growth in sales tax revenue this year totaling $5.602 million through March, compared to $5.376 million in the year-ago period.

”Due to sustained sales tax growth, we are expecting to pay down the $120 million sales tax bond passed in 2006 earlier than expected. This allows us to pay off the debt some time in 2019, approximately five years sooner than anticipated and saves us from additional interest costs. Because of our financial stewardship in this city, our ability to invest in the future has been secured,” Mayor Lioneld Jordan recently said in his State of the City Address.

2018:$6.546 million
2017: $2.963 million

2018: $5.602 million
2017:$5.286 million

2018: $4.811 million
2017: $4.855 million

2018:$3.502 million
2017:$3.481 million

Source: Respective cities