Despite interest rate hikes, slower wage growth, and surging inflation, the city of Jonesboro did something in 2022 that it hasn’t done in several years. City sales and use tax collections each and every month outpaced the same months in 2021. The net was result was near double digit sales tax growth and an all-time record for collections.
Jonesboro collected $25.062 million during 2022, a 9.9% ($2.251 million) increase from 2021, according to records from City Hall. When compared to projected sales tax revenues, collections were up 7.4% ($1.723 million.). The city’s previous record was smashed in 2021 when it collected 13.8% more than in 2020.
Collections did slightly slow during the month of December. The city collected $1.96 million during the month, a 2.2% ($43,000) increase from the previous December. It was the smallest margin of growth for any month last year.
April was one of two months that the city didn’t top $2 million, but it had the high water mark when compared to percentage growth. That month, the city collected $1.88 million, a 28% ($420,336) increase from the same month the previous year.
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.
Northeast Arkansas’ hub city has a diversified workforce that has helped it to withstand national economic downturns in recent decades, according to officials. That diverse mix of jobs include healthcare, manufacturing, government, retail, agriculture and others. The city also is a hub for those in surrounding counties seeking healthcare, and Arkansas State University is the region’s largest university and employer.
Craighead County mirrored its flagship city’s growth, but it was slightly slower during the year. The county collected $28.275 million for the year, an 8.4% ($2.189 million) increase from the previous year. In December, the county collected $2.23 million, almost exactly what was collected during December 2021.