Jonesboro sets sales tax collections record with one month to go

by George Jared ([email protected]) 309 views 

For the better part of a decade, the city of Jonesboro and its home county, Craighead have consistently set yearly sales and use tax collections records. In 2021, the largest city and county in Northeast Arkansas may have outpaced all previous efforts.

Northeast Arkansas’ hub city has set its all-time sales use and tax collections record through November with a month to go.

Jonesboro collected $1.959 million in the month of November, a 10.7% ($190,079) uptick from the same month in 2020, according to figures released by the city. Year to date, the city has collected $20.891 million, a 13.9% ($2.542 million) increase from all of 2020. In eight of the 12 months of the year, the city collected $1.9 million or more after only having one such month the previous year, which set the all-time collections record.

The $20.891 million collected is about $800,000 more than was collected during 2020 and is nearly $2 million more than was collected in 2019, which was also a record-setting year for the city. Since the month of May, the city has shattered each monthly collections record for each individual month.

When compared to the budget projections outlined prior to the start of the year, the city is doing even better. For the month of November, the actual collections outpaced the budgeted number by 15.7% and in only one month this year, April (-2.8%), did collections underperform budget expectations.

Sales tax numbers lag by 60 days meaning the numbers released were collected two months prior. Economists consider sales tax collections as a leading economic indicator, one that can show how a local economy can be expected to perform in the short-term.

Craighead County slightly outperformed the city in sales tax collections during the last month. In November, the county collected $2.251 million in sales and use taxes, a nearly 10% ($214,000) increase from the previous November.

For the year, Craighead County has collected about $23.882 million, nearly $1 million more than was collected during all of 2020.