Sales tax receipts up 9.8 percent in August
By Scott Loftis
and Samantha Jones
Sales tax receipts in Eureka Springs increased by 9.8 percent in August 2019 — a jump that Mayor Butch Berry attributes in large part to the downhill biking trails at Lake Leatherwood City Park.
Eureka Springs sales tax collections rose from from $271,600 in August 2018 to $290,000 in August 2019.
“We’ve been having just a great year, so I’m sure it's a combination of things,” Berry said. “I would like to think it's probably a combination of our CAPC advertising and maybe also part of our push on outdoor recreation, especially the downhill bike trails at Lake Leatherwood. We’re seeing a lot more cars with bicycles on the back of them, and they're from all over the United States — everything from Georgia to Ohio to Texas.”
The increase in Eureka Springs was part of a countywide spike. The cities of Berryville and Green Forest experienced even larger increases — Berryville’s collections were up 15.4 percent, while Green Forest’s leaped 55.1 percent.
The sales taxes are collected by businesses and merchants and remitted to the Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration, which then disburses the money to individual cities and counties. Taxes are remitted one month after they are collected.
“County sales tax receipts also increased in August — from just over $184,000 in 2018 to almost $219,000 in 2019.
Carroll County Treasurer Makita Williams said she wasn’t sure what led to the 18.7 percent increase.
“I really don’t know how to explain it,” she said. “Sometimes it’s up and sometimes it’s down.”
Overall, the county sales tax receipts have been very consistent. Yearly collections have increased 3 to 5 percent annually over the past five years. Through August, they’re up 7.1 percent this year.