Fort Smith sales tax revenues down more than $500,000 through April

by Aric Mitchell (amitchell@talkbusiness.net) 290 views 

Fort Smith sales tax revenues continue to trail 2017’s numbers as well as budgeted expectations with the city reporting over $500,000 less than expected – $440,588 from the 2% city sales tax and $104,159 from the city’s share of county sales tax.

In a memo to City Administrator Carl Geffken, Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders, and the Board of Directors, Fort Smith Finance Director Jennifer Walker said sales tax revenues “seemed to turn a bit upward in April,” but acknowledged her department is “continuing to monitor closely, and a budget adjustment will be proposed at the June 18 Board Meeting.”

For April, the 2% city sales tax revenue — 1% for streets, 0.75% for 2012 Revenue Bonds, and 0.25% split equally between the fire and parks departments — totaled $3.744 million, which was just 0.6% more than April 2017’s $3.723 million and 1.3% below budget expectations. Year-to-date, the funds totaled $14.33 million, which is 1.4% below last year’s tally of $14.529 million and 3.2% below budget.

On the county side, the city’s share for April 2018 of $1.473 million was 1% more than last April’s $1.459 million and practically on budget. Year-to-date, the fund’s total of $5.663 million is 0.8% below 2017’s $5.71 million and 1.8% below budget.

Expanding on Walker’s April optimism, the 2% revenue stream was off by 3.63% in January, 1.65% in February, and 0.37% in March. The county share was down 2.55% in January, 0.98% in February, and 0.5% in March. April represents the fourth month of improvements and the first time the city beat 2017 actuals month-to-month.

As for franchise fees (paid quarterly), April was the first month of reporting, and it was a pretty rough opening with $1.094 million, collected mostly ($940,000) from OG&E — a performance 51% below budget. Walker explained, “Some gas payments were not posted as of the end of April. We expect this to rebound shortly.”

Property taxes will not register until the May report, which will be released in July.

PREVIOUS ANNUAL SALES TAX COLLECTION INFO
Fort Smith 2% sales tax collection (1% for streets; 0.75% for 2012 water/sewer bonds; 0.25% for fire and parks)
2017: $42.408 million
2016: $42.313 million
2015: $40.76 million
2014: $40.198 million
2013: $38.938 million
2012: $39.21 million
2011: $38.683 million
2010: $37.229 million
2009: $37.554 million
2008: $41.226 million
2007: $37.858 million
2006: $36.84 million

Fort Smith portion of 1% countywide sales tax
2017: $16.691 million
2016: $16.58 million
2015: $16.09 million
2014: $15.625 million
2013: $15.353 million
2012: $15.279 million
2011: $15.15 million
2010: $14.89 million
2009: $15.04 million
2008: $16.61 million
2007: $15.15 million
2006: $14.71 million

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