Fort Smith sales tax revenue for the street tax program during the first five reporting months of 2019 totaled $8.976 million, up 1.08% compared with the same period in 2018 and 0.4% above the budget estimate. The city’s share of year-to-date county sales tax revenue is 1.3% above the same period in 2018 and and 1.3% above the budget estimate.
The figures, provided by Fort Smith Finance Director Jennifer Walker, shows the city’s share of a one-cent Sebastian County tax during the first five reporting months of 2019 was $7.11 million, up 1.3% compared with the same period in 2018.
Sales tax revenue in May 2019 was $1.769 million, up 3.19% over May 2018 and 3.7% above the budget estimate. The city’s share of the county sales tax for May was $1.404 million, up 3.78% over May 2019 and 5.4% above the budget estimate. Revenue from the county tax is critical in that it funds key services like police and fire. The tax revenue reported in May is from March sales.
Walker said she expects revenue to remain stable through the remainder of the year, but trends should be watched as the city prepares for the next budget.
“Sales tax rebounded this month leaving ytd (year-to-date) sales tax trending very close to budget. There are some seasonal fluctuations, and I expect city sales tax to continue steady in the warmer months and county sales tax to remain stable. We will be watching sales tax trends closely the next few months as we begin preparations for the 2020 budget season,” Walker noted in her memo to city officials.
Following are the previous five years of revenue from the county sales tax revenue.
2018: $17.043 million
2017: $16.691 million
2015: $16.58 million
2014: $16.09 million
2013: $15.625 million
Collections of franchise fees and property tax revenue has yet to show any trends from which to budget, Walker noted.
“Franchise fees are reported quarterly – first quarter is approximately 1.8% under budget (about $8,000). Property taxes are reported largely in the fourth quarter of the year. It is too early in the year to evaluate these trends,” she said.
Following are Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration figures that show Fort Smith metro county collections from January-April of 2019.
• Crawford County
Jan-April 2019: $4.23 million, up 2.74%
• Franklin County
Jan-April 2019: $1.269 million, up 9.39%
• Logan County
Jan-April 2019: $1.548 million, up 1.24%
• Crawford County
Jan-April 2019: $10.168 million, up 0.61%