September taxes overtake pre-COVID collections


The City of Hot Springs 1% General Fund sales tax September collections were 19.29% higher than the September 2019 collections.

The latter was the third month under an expanded tax base requiring online retailers and e-commerce facilitators to collect and remit national and local sales taxes. The September report released by the city provided a comparison to a pre-pandemic month with the expanded tax base, following reports from July and August that showed increases of 16.74% and 25.67% in collections. compared to 2019.

The city’s January and February reports corresponded to a period in 2020 before the pandemic, but a winter storm affected the February collections. Many businesses closed during the storm, contributing to a 6.34% drop in collections compared to February 2020.

The $ 1,390,578 generated by sales tax in September rose 5.88% in September 2020, which allowed collections for the first three quarters of 15.27%, or $ 1,677,008, in advance on the record pace of last year. The third quarter collections beat forecast revenue by 13.54%, or $ 1,509,809. The collections are on track to surpass last year’s record total of $ 14,960,641 by more than $ 2 million.

The 2022 budget passed by the Hot Springs board earlier this month forecasted $ 17,432,998 in sales tax revenue, which was more than half of the $ 32.8 million in projected revenue. of the general fund in 2022.

The $ 664,993 that the Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission reported in September on collections of the 3% sales tax it levies on prepared foods and accommodation in the city beat the previous September by 14.30%, or $ 83,196. The $ 6,224,718 of sales tax collected in the first three quarters has exceeded 2020 by 34.62%, or $ 1,600,717.

The first nine months of fundraising exceeded the first three quarters of 2019 by 14.44%, or $ 785,484, and the first three quarters of 2018 by 24.38%, or $ 1,220,208.

The seven-month employment recovery in the Hot Springs metropolitan area slowed in October, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary report for the month. The local economy created 400 non-farm jobs compared to the previous October, down 83% from the 2,350 jobs created on average on an annual basis from April to September.

The local economy recorded 12 consecutive months of job losses from April 2020 to March, losing more than 2,300 jobs per month on average.

According to the BLS preliminary unemployment report, the local MSA had an unemployment rate of 3.9% in September, up from 4.5% in August. September’s unemployment rate was the lowest since December 2019.

The local economy had 39,424 people employed out of a workforce of 41,004. The BLS defines civilian labor as people 16 years of age and older who are working or actively seeking work.

Hot Springs City Sales Tax Detail for 2021, General Fund only (1%). Source: City of Hot Springs. – Photo submitted


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