The COVID-19 crisis that hit Northwest Arkansas in late March slowed sales tax growth among the region’s four largest cities. The June report released Wednesday (June 24) indicated sales tax collected in April fell 10.62% in the combined cities of Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, and Springdale.
This report reflects a 1% sales tax on goods and services collected by each city with funds flowing into their respective city budgets. The June report covers sales tax collected in April, creating a two-month lag in the data. The four cities had $5.666 million in sales tax revenue, down 8.9% from the prior month and 10.62% lower than collections in the June 2019 report. It’s been four years since the region’s June sales tax report posted a decline.
Despite the lackluster June report, year-to-date sales tax collections for the four cities totaled $37.182 million, up 5.4% from the $35.272 million reported in the year-ago period.
Springdale was the only city in the group to report a gain in the June report. Springdale’s sales tax was $1.434 million, up 8.65% from a year ago. The city had an easy comparison given a year ago the sales tax fell 1.1% in the June report. Through the first six months, sales tax revenue in Springdale totaled $8.171 million, up 8.22% from the $7.55 million a year ago.
The large retail center in Rogers was hit hard with many Pinnacle Promenade stores closed in April. The exceptions were Target, Lowe’s, Walmart and Home Depot. The city reported a 19.45% decline in sales tax revenue reported in June. Through the first six months of the year, sales tax revenue reported by Rogers totals $10.068 million, up 9% from $9.791 million in the year-ago period.
Fayetteville had an 11.3% decline in sales tax revenue in the June report. Total June revenue was $1.663 million, the weakest June report since 2016. Like Rogers, many of the city’s retail stores closed in late March and remain closed until early June. Fayetteville’s sale tax revenue totals $11.296 through the June report, up 2.76% from the $10.992 million reported in the year-ago period.
Bentonville reported $1.167 million in sales tax revenue, down 16.86% in the June report. This reversed the 29.34% gain reported last month and the 39.43% gain in the same month last year. Bentonville city officials have budgeted for $14.448 million in sales tax revenue this year. Through the June report, the city’s sales tax revenue totaled $7.645 million, up 10% from the same period last year.