Mayor Perrin speculates that record sales tax run boosted by online transactions

by George Jared (gjared@talkbusiness.net) 192 views 

The number of superlatives to describe sales tax growth in Northeast Arkansas’ hub city and its home county are starting to run thin. Jonesboro collected $1.58 million in sales and use taxes, a 4.79% ($70,948) uptick from the same month in 2018, according to the city. For the year, the city has collected 5.8% ($520,999) more than it did during the first six months of last year.

City leaders made an effort to budget conservatively at the end of 2018, and the collections numbers when compared to the budgeted numbers are even stronger. In June, collections were up 10.28% ($147,357) as compared to the budgeted totals. For the year, collections are up 5.81% as compared to the budget. Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin told Talk Business & Politics he is pleased with the historic growth during the last several years.

“DFA indicated that these figures now indicate online sales tax revenue, which I presume would play a significant role in our increase. We are up 5.8% on the year, which I credit to our staff’s conservative budgeting, the online sales tax, and an economy that remains vibrant in Jonesboro.

“Honestly I would hope it would be up a little more, because in flush times you like to make the most of improving your infrastructure and equipment. We will always be judicious and search for outside funding.”

Sales and use tax collections have a 60-day lag time, meaning the numbers in June represent taxes collected on sales in April, which is typically the highest collection month of the year for the city. Jonesboro serves as a recreational, retail, and healthcare hub in NEA drawing consumers from many outlying counties.

Craighead County kept pace with its seat. The county tallied $1.758 million in county sales and use taxes, a 7.6% ($124,000) increase from the receipts in June 2018. For the year, the county is up 7.5% ($687,000) as compared to the first six months of last year, according to the Craighead County Treasurer’s Office.

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