GREENE COUNTY, Ark- Greene County is seeing a significant rise in their sales tax revenue compared last year, rising over 13%.
County treasurer Debbie Cross says the increase goes back to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“13.21% higher than this same month last year,” says Greene County Treasurer Debbie Cross. “I think because the Governor never did a complete shut down like so many other states did across the country. Arkansas did not have the economic downturn that so many other states did.”
Cross says another reason the increase can be credited to counties receiving local sales tax revenue from online sales.
In 2019 the arkansas state legislature passed a bill requiring online retailers to charge local sales tax.
Cross says with patrons not traveling and taking their shopping online due to COVID-19, the tax is collected in the county where the goods are shipped.
“If I went into Jonesboro and purchased furniture and I picked it up in my car and took it home,” says Cross.
“Jonesboro sales tax would be charged, and Jonesboro would benefit. But if I go into Jonesboro and I purchase furniture and I have them ship it to my home in Greene County, then they’re supposed to charge Greene County tax. Because of the COVID-19, they’re not traveling, they’re, doing their purchases online.”
Cross says she was told by the Association for Arkansas Counties to expect a drop in revenue.
Which they are seeing, as their court collections are down $35,000 so far this year.
They also saw a decrease in revenue from road turn back money, which is based on fuel consumption.
The increase in sale tax revenue will help them offset the costs for what they did lose.
“We have a net increase over my projections through the end of today,” says Cross. “Total revenues which come from many various sources are higher than what I projected. We’ve been blessed with this increase in sales tax revenue. All of that goes to the people for spending their money at home.”
Cross says she tells people is to shop at home.
Support your local retailers because they support your community.
If they don’t have your needs or goods, take your shopping online so your county can benefit from the sales tax.