Sales tax revenue up in Boone County and Harrison, Ark.
HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) - In late March, the governor ordered many of Arkansas’ businesses to close their doors.
”We all were concerned,” said Bob Largent, the Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce president.
Restaurants went to curbside and takeout, and clothing stores did sales online.
Businesses started to reopen again in May.
Harrison and Boone County leaders were worried how the pandemic would affect sales tax revenue, which goes toward funding departments like the fire, police and parks.
But the numbers that came out for March, April and May were a pleasant surprise.
“We’re about 5 percent up over the year. A little bit above that,” said Luke Feighert, the chief financial officer for the City of Harrison.
Boone County sales tax revenue went up from about $448,000 in May last year, to $484,000 this year.
Harrison went from $300,000 to $318,000. The city is up $172,000 in sales tax revenue in the general fund compared to this time last year.
Feighert said that’s probably for a couple reasons.
”People aren’t traveling as much so they’re shopping locally. That had a big effect here because we have northwest Arkansas and other areas we can shop at, so that helped keep the money here in town,” Feighert said.
People also received a bit of a helping hand.
”Along with the stimulus checks and the additional unemployment for those that need it. That definitely helped spur the economy,” he said.
Largent said an online sales tax that took effect in the state last year also contributed to the boost.
”The community is staying local, and that’s great for us,” he said.
The revenue for each month is reported two months later. So we should be seeing the numbers for June later this month.
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