Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview
Overview of Fayetteville, AR

Friday, January 18, 2008

No Increase in Millage Rates

It appears the cities, counties and school districts that were all talking last fall about the necessity to raise taxes have found ways to keep that from happening – at least for another year.

If you’ll scroll down to the article I posted October 22, 2007, “Will Property Taxes Increase in Northwest Arkansas?” you’ll see that the gist of the matter was that sales tax revenues were down, bridges were falling apart, and school districts needed new schools.

Most of the councils had to work hard to reach consensus about what to cut while still providing necessary services. But the good news is they did their job - just as families are forced to do when income goes down.

The overall picture is now a little brighter. The latest report (October 2007) of Fayetteville’s sales tax receipts shows an increase of 3.8% compared to same month in 2006. The general opinion is the opening of Sam’s Club and Malco’s state-of-the-art movie theater all significantly improved Fayetteville’s revenue stream. However, Fayetteville is the anomaly for that time period. Bentonville’s receipts decreased 8.86%, Rogers down 6.11%, and Springdale down 6.17%.

Washington County Quorum Court says it has depended more on property taxes and less on sales tax receipts for the past several years. When income was greater than expenses, the county squirreled money away so that it now has approximately $15 million in reserve.

City of Rogers ended its fiscal year with a huge reserve. Not only did the city bring in more revenue than projected, it managed to decrease expenditures. Wouldn’t it be great if that feat could be accomplished throughout the area?

Another thing that helped avoid a millage increase is the increased assessed value of property in NW Arkansas. Naturally as values increase, tax revenues increase but Arkansas has laws to keep those increases from getting out of hand. Amendment 59 to the Arkansas Constitution states taxes cannot increase by more than 10% from the previous year, excluding newly discovered or constructed properties.

The bottom line is some entities, such as Washington County, have had to actually decrease the millage rate 0.2 mills from the preceding year. The rate has been set at 6.6 mills.

Millage rates in Washington County can be viewed by going to http://www.co.washington.ar.us/ then click on Information, then scroll down to Millage Rates.

Benton County does not have a list of millage rates on its website but reviewing the faxed copy I received, I think it’s fair to say the majority of entities in Washington County have slightly lower millage rates than those in Benton County.

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