Northwest Arkansas sales tax revenue jumps 16.43% in February report

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 511 views 

Consumer spending in December helped to rally sales tax revenue reported this month by the region’s four largest cities. Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers and Springdale cumulatively reported sales tax revenues were up 16.43% in February over the year-ago period. It also marked the best February results in the history of the report as revenue totaled $7.603 million for the four cities.

Each city collects local sales tax revenue on good and services and 1% of that local tax flows into each city’s annual budget. The February revenue comes from the local tax on goods and services from December, creating a two-month lag in the data.

February is typically a strong month given so much of the holiday spending takes place in December, but this is only the second time in history that the cumulative revenue totals more than $7 million. Revenue has nearly doubled since the same month in 2010 and each city has seen remarkable growth over that period.

Fayetteville’s sales tax revenue growth from February 2010 to February 2020 totals $737,459 or 48.4% over the 10-year period. Springdale has seen its tax revenue grow $542,482 in the same period.

Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse said recently this year was going to be tight unless the city was able to increase revenue. Sprouse said despite the 4.1% growth in sales tax revenue last year, the city still lags behind Fayetteville and Rogers in sales tax collected per city resident. He said in 2018, Springdale’s collections were $386.02 per resident, while Fayetteville collected $528.15 and Rogers collected $587.29.

Springdale is off to a strong start in 2020 with total revenue of $2.804 million, compared to $2.581 million in the same two-month period last year.

Fayetteville reported a two-month total of $4.2 million, up from $3.97 million a year ago. Fayetteville saw its population increase from 73,580 in 2010 to 86,751 in 2018, growing by about 18%.

Growth in Benton County continues as Rogers has become a regional retail and entertainment destination. The February revenue in Rogers totaled $2.102 million, the first time the city has crossed the $2 million level in a single month. Rogers increased its February sales tax revenue by more than $995,000 compared to the same month in 2010.

For the first two months of 2020, Rogers reports sales tax revenue of $3.885 million, up 11.4% compared to $3.487 million a year ago. The city is budgeting for $19.9 million in sales tax revenue collections this year, up 8% from last year.

City leaders around Bentonville remain bullish about growth opportunities in that city. Bentonville’s population eclipsed 50,000 in 2018 and continues to grow, but when including Centerton and Bella Vista there are more than 40,000 others who regularly travel through the city to work, shop and eat. Bentonville Mayor Stephenie Orman said this week the city continues to focus on providing water, sewer and road infrastructure to accommodate the growth.

Bentonville reported sales tax revenue of $1.804 million in February, up 54% from the decline reported a year ago. Bentonville has sales tax revenue of $2.977 million in the first two months, up 30% from $2.287 million, in the same period last year. This was also the best February on record for Bentonville. In February 2010, the city reported $730,413 in sales tax revenue which is $1.731 million less than this month. Despite Bentonville’s smaller population relative to the other three cities in this report, Bentonville continues to see rapid growth. Sales tax revenue grew by 81% from full-year 2010 to full-year 2019.

Sales Tax Revenue February
• Bentonville: $1.804 million, up 54%
• Fayetteville: $2.257 million, up 7.14%
• Rogers: $2.203 million, up 9.48%
• Springdale: $1.44 million, up 8.10%