May report shows a sales tax rebound in Northwest Arkansas

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 335 views 

It took a while for spring to arrive but consumers eager to shake the winter blues have ramped up spending despite the inflationary pressures from rising interest rates. The heavier spending is reflected in a 9.47% rebound in sales tax revenue in the May report for Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers and Bentonville.

The cities together reported May revenue of $6.188 million. It was the largest May revenue on record for the cities and the first time the combined total topped $6 million in the month.

Each city collects 2% local sales tax on good and services. Half of the tax goes toward debt retirement and the other 1% flows into the cities’ respective operating budgets. This report reflects the latter.

Bentonville again led the growth trend reporting a 17.82% revenue increase from a year ago. The city reported revenue of $1.299 million, compared to $1.103 million a year ago. City leaders continue to cite investment in Bentonville from new rooftops to new businesses. Jersey Mikes, Raising Canes and Aldi each have projects under construction in the city.

So far this year Bentonville reports sales tax revenue of $8.9 million, up 78% from $5 million in the same period last year. City officials said 2018 is a record year for sales tax revenue. With still seven months left in 2018, Bentonville has already collected 80% of $11.1 million annual tax budgeted.

Fayetteville’s sales tax revenue rose 8.61% from a year ago. The bounce comes off a flat revenue reported last month. May revenue was $1.946 million, and marked the second best month this year. New retail development in Fayetteville has been slower than in Benton County this year despite commercial and industrial expansion.

Fayetteville’s year-to-date sales tax revenue totals $9.193 million, compared with $8.789 million last year. Mayor Lioneld Jordan said the city has budgeted $21.595 million for the year, which is about 2% annual growth. Through May the city is 43% of the way to its annual goal.

Rogers reported sales tax revenue of $1.65 million in May, up 7.64% from a year ago. The gain comes on the heels of flat revenue in April and a 3% decline reported in February. City leaders are excited about the new entertainment venues attracted to the city with Dave & Busters which opened in February and news that Topgolf plans to build near the Walmart AMP in the city creating 300 new jobs later this year.

Rogers expects to collect $17.2 million in sales tax revenue this year, about 4.3% more than in 2017. Through May the city has revenue totaling $7.845 million, up 1%. The city has collected 45.6% of the budgeted amount this year.

Springdale reported a 5.47% increase in sales tax revenue collecting $1.291 million, also a record number for May. May revenue gains improved over the 3.45% gain in April and the 5.37% decline reported by the city in February. The city recently welcomed a new Tacos 4 Life restaurant and Dairy Queen is also under construction at 1471 W. Sunset Ave.

Springdale has collected revenue totaling $5.911 million through May, up 21.6% from a year ago. The city has budgeted $14.718 million this year for tax revenue and is 40% of the way to its projection.

May revenue reflects spending in March and the U.S. consumer sentiment rose that month to levels not seen since 2004, according to the University of Michigan’s mid-month report. Overall, consumers continue to express confidence about both buying and borrowing in advance due to expected improving trends.

Sales Tax (January through May)
2018: $8.9 million
2017: $5 million

2018: $9.193 million
2017: $8,789 million

2018: $7.845 million
2017: $ million

2018: $5.911 million
2017: $5.786 million