The four largest cities in Northwest Arkansas continue to post sales tax revenue growth compared to a year ago. The cumulative collections from Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville rose 4.16% in the cities’ October reports which are another sign the local economy is headed in the right direction.
Each city collects 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. The revenue reflects sales in August, creating a two-month lag in the reporting.
Bentonville: $848,242, up 12.48%
Rogers: $1,165,995, up 6.09%
Fayetteville: $1,579,934, up 1.96%
Springdale: $906,467, down 1.26%
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.
In August the consumer confidence reading fell after setting a six year high in July. The most recent readings Sept. 24 indicated the further declines, most likely related to the government shutdown.
The consumer confidence index is sensitive to labor markets, whereas the Michigan Sentiment Index is more sensitive to financial markets. The Michigan Sentiment reading dipped to 76 in October, its lowest level since January.
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 balance sheets are in good shape with most months in 2013 running ahead of budget. Cumulative revenue through October is up 6.4% over last year and each city reports a budget surplus through nine months of this year.
County collections (Benton and Washington) are also up 7.12% from a year ago.
Sales Tax Revenue (year to date)
2013: $8.005 million
2012: $7.060 million
2013: $10.697 million
2012: $9.849 million
2013: $13.529 million
2012: $13.113 million
2013: $7.907 million
2012: $7.706 million