January report shows continued gains in Fort Smith sales tax revenue
Fort Smith sales tax revenue began 2023 strong, as has been the trend for the past few years. The January sales tax report shows the city’s share of the 1% Sebastian County sales tax was up almost 5% from January 2021 and the 1% tax for city streets was up almost 4% from the same time last year.
Though it was not as large a jump over expected revenues as January 2022, when the city’s share of the 1% Sebastian County sales tax was up more than 17% from the year before and the 1% tax for city streets was up more than 16% from the same time last year, the numbers continue to show an upward trend.
January numbers report reflect November transactions.
The city’s share of the Sebastian County sales tax totaled $2.291 million, up 4.7% compared to the $2.188 million reported in January 2021, according to the January sales tax report. The city estimated the revenue generated by the tax in January would be $2.223 million, 1.6% more than it did last year, but the revenues bested that coming in 3.06% higher than the budget estimate.
The city’s share of the countywide tax is closely watched because the revenue provides money for the city’s general fund budget, with much of that budget paying for police, fire and other essential city services.
“The fact that January is an increase of more than 3% for the City and County tax is very encouraging after seeing small decreases in November and December,” said Fort Smith Director Lavon Morton. “The local economy is another real positive in what could be an outstanding 2023 for Fort Smith.”
Fort Smith’s 1% street tax – used for maintenance and new construction on streets, bridges and drainage – reported $2.813 million in collections in January, up 3.97% from the $2.706 million reported in the first month of 2022, according to the report. The city’s budget estimate for the tax was the same as the actual reported revenue in January 2022, so the collections are 3.97% above the budget estimate.
In 2022, Fort Smith’s share of the 1% Sebastian County sales tax was $23.553 million, 9.6% higher than 2021 and up 9.05% from budget estimates for the year. The 2022 total was $1.955 million more than city officials budgeted to spend within the fund budget and $2.06 million, more than the tax brought the city in 2021.
The 1% street tax generated $28.85 million, up 7.4% over 2021 and up 7.65% from budget estimates. The 2022 total was $2.05 million more than city officials budgeted to spend on the street tax program.
PREVIOUS ANNUAL COLLECTION INFO
Fort Smith 1% sales tax collection for streets
2022: $28.85 million
2021: $26.667 million
2020: $22.66 million
2019: $21.73 million
2018: $21.503 million
2017: $21.204 million
2016: $21.156 million
Fort Smith portion of 1% countywide sales tax
2022: $23.553 million
2021: $21.49 million
2020: $18.246 million
2019: $17.265 million
2018: $17.043 million
2017: $16.691 million
2016: $16.58 million