Jonesboro’s city sales and use tax receipts have set record after record since the mid-2010s, but the first two months of 2022 have outpaced anything that has previously happened in Northeast Arkansas’ hub city.
In January, the city collected nearly $2.04 million, a 19.3% ($325,389) increase from the same month in 2021. The city tallied $2.43 million in February, a 17.3% ($358,000) spike from the same month last year. To date, the city has collected $4.464 million, an 18.1% increase.
It’s the most ever collected during the first two months of the year.
When compared to the budgeted projections, the percentages are smaller, but still beyond expectations. Collections are 8.2% of forecast for January and 6.3% above February’s budget projection.
These totals grew at an exponential rate even though businesses throughout the city continued to deal with the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain issues.
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 had a nearly identical growth pattern.
The county collected $2.344 million in sales and use taxes in January, a 20.2% ($394,00) uptick from the previous year. In February, $2.72 million poured into county coffers, a 17.7% ($429,000) increase from the previous year.
The city and county tallies in February both set all-time records for a single month, beating the previous records for each with double-digit growth. The January total is the most sales tax ever collected in that month for the city and county, according to the Craighead County Treasurer’s Office.