The four largest cities in Northwest Arkansas saw their cumulative sales tax revenue rise 4.2% in September with more than $4.33 million in collections.
Revenue climbed 10.5% higher in Bentonville and slid by less than 1% in Fayetteville with Springdale and Rogers also reporting solid year-over-year gains. The revenue reflects sales in July, creating a two-month lag in the reporting.
Each of the cities collect a 2% local sales tax that is split evenly between bond repayment and each city’s general fund. This report tracks the 1% tax going to fund city budgets.
Bentonville $844,390, up 10.5%
Springdale $901,976, up 8.6%
Rogers $1,118,067, up 2.15%
Fayetteville $1,465,609, down 0.08%
Sales tax collections reflect stronger consumer confidence amid a still sluggish economy for overall growth, but because of the two-month drag in reporting procedures this data looks back, not forward. Since July, consumer confidence readings have fallen to 81.5 in August and to 79.7 in September. The September reading was the weakest level since May, according to the Conference Board.
The consumer confidence index is sensitive to labor markets, whereas the Michigan Sentiment Index is more sensitive to financial markets. The Michigan Sentiment reading also declined since July to a preliminary number of 78.6 for September.
Retailers, restaurants and corporate executives have predicted softer financial results in this third quarter of operations, which indicates sales tax revenue could be tempered in the next few months.
However; city officials have said their respective budgets are in good shape through September. Cumulative collections are up 5.4% over last year and each city reports a budget surplus through nine months of this year.
Sales Tax Revenue (year to date)
2013: $7.086 million
2012: $6.911 million
2013: $10.906 million
2012: $9.789 million
2013: $13.4 million
2012: $12.931 million
2013: $7.841 million
2012: $7.581 million