Obviously one month does not a trend make, but the first month in which internet sales tax collections were included in the total funds remitted to the city, Booneville’s one percent sales tax topped both last month and September of 2018 figures.
Each of the city’s one percent taxes took in $59,220.89.
Act 822 subjects internet purchases from retailers without an Arkansas presence to sales tax provided a company, such as eBay or Amazon, which has gross revenue of more than $100,000 for products coming into the state. The law also applies to retailers who have at least 200 transactions coming into the state.
Internet tax collections are expected to increase government revenues by $32.4 million annually with about $21.7 going to the state and the remaining $10.7 going to county and city coffers.
Because the taxes took effect on July 1 and taxes collected in July are remitted to the Department of Finance and Administration in August and forwarded to the collecting entitties through State Treasurer Dennis Milligan’s office in September last week’s receipts are the first to include the internet collections.
The September remission topped Booneville’s August by a little more than $1,500 or 2.6 percent. The amount was also more than $2,600 more, or 4.6 percent, than the same month a year ago.
To date in 2019 the tax has collected $533,304.26, which is $21,618.53, or 4.7 percent more than the same nine months of 2018. The tax remains on pace to top $700,000 for the first time.
Under the current distribution formula of the tax a city improvement account receives 30 percent of the collections and the police department another 22 percent. The fire department and Area Agency/Senior Center get 10 percent each; the airport 7 percent; the street department, parks commission and animal control 5 percent each; the BDC/Chamber 4 percent and the Oak Hill Cemetery fund 2 percent.
The sales tax was approved by city voters for a fourth five-year period in 2015. City officials have started looking into the process to ask voters to renew the tax for a fifth term.
In addition to the two one percent sales taxes collected by the City of Booneville — one is dedicated to the operation of Mercy Hospital here — purchases in the city are subjected to two cents on the dollar for Logan County.
One half cent was approved in 2016 to build and equip with another half cent approved to at the same time to maintain a new jail in the county.
While the city’s taxes increased the same was not true of the Logan County jail taxes. Each of those half percent taxes — one to retire the debt incurred to build the jail, and one to equip and maintain it — both took in $101,882.93, which was a little more than $3,000 less than September of 2018.
For the year the tax has taken in $866,270.16 and to date the taxes have totalled more than $2.9 million each.
The bonded debt for the jail totaled $12.1 million.