Jonesboro sales tax collections up in January but miss budget projection

by George Jared ([email protected]) 383 views 

Last year was another record setter in Jonesboro and surrounding Craighead County in terms of sales and use tax collections. As the first month of 2023 ended, the trend line continues in the same direction.

The city collected $2.133 million in January, a 4.5% ($92,800) uptick from the same month in 2022, according to records released by Jonesboro city hall. When compared to the projected budget, the month fell 2.4% ($51,891) short of 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.

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.

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.

Craighead County’s January collections followed a similar trajectory. The county collected $2.44 million, a 4.6% ($96,000) upswing from the previous January. It was the 21st month in a row that the county has topped $2 million or more in collections, an all-time record.