Sales tax collections defy economic conditions in Jonesboro

by George Jared ([email protected]) 770 views 

The COVID-19 pandemic has paralyzed many economic sectors as it spread from the northeast to the south and west this spring. Before the pandemic, Jonesboro had experienced historic sales tax growth for at least five straight years.

Despite the partial shutdowns and slow growth in the local and national economy, the largest city in Northeast Arkansas is poised to set another sales and use tax collections record in 2020.

During the month of July, the city collected $1.696 million in city sales and use tax, an 8.3% ($129,652) hike as compared to the same month in 2019, according to the city. It’s an all-time record for the month of July.

For the year, the city has collected $11.467 million, a 3.3% ($362,899) uptick as compared to the same timeframe in 2019. That figure outpaced the budgeted total through July by 1.7%.

Last year, Jonesboro set its all-time sales and use tax collections record.

Sales tax collections lag 60 days, meaning the numbers released represent sales tax collections from May. Officials have repeatedly warned the numbers could move erratically due to the precautions taken during the pandemic including the partial shutdown of businesses throughout the state. May was the month when the state started its phased re-opening of the economy.

Craighead County, also the largest in the area, continued its strong sales and use tax collections growth pattern, too.

The county hauled in $1.909 million, a whopping 10% ($181,000) increase from the previous month in 2019. For the year, the county has collected $12.907 million, a 3% increase from the same period in 2019.