Record sales tax growth continues in Jonesboro but budgeted revenues are down

by George Jared ([email protected]) 411 views 

The city of Jonesboro crushed its all-time monthly sales and use tax collection record in February. The city collected $2.635 million, an 8.8% ($212,546) uptick compared to the previous high of $2.4 million collected in the same month in 2022, according to records released by the city.

It marks the second consecutive month in 2023 that collections have been up. For the year, the city has tallied $4.769 million in sales and use tax receipts, a 6.8% ($305,000) increase from the first two months of last year.

When compared to the projected budget, however, the figures are down. The city beat budget estimates by 0.2% ($5,023) but for the year, the budgeted numbers are down 1% ($46,868).

Sales tax figures 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 nearly had its first month in which it collected more than $3 million, but it fell short. The county collected $2.947 million, an 8.5% ($232,000) uptick from the same month last year. Last month’s collections are the most ever for the county.