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Baxter County governments continue to see record sales tax revenues

While gas and food prices remain at historical highs throughout Arkansas, local governments, including Baxter County and the City of Mountain Home, continue to see record numbers in their monthly sales tax reports.

The most recent numbers to be released for Baxter County and Mountain Home come from July, where both governments saw a 9.2% and 7.1% increase in revenue from the same time last year.

Baxter County currently has a 1% sales tax that funds all of its operations. When revenue from the sales tax comes into the county’s accounts, roughly 58% of that money is set aside for the county itself. The remaining 42% of the money is distributed throughout the county’s eight cities. How much each city receives is based on its current population.

In July alone, Baxter County pulled in $870,690 in revenue, with $495,888 of that money going directly to fund county services. The remaining $374,802 went to Mountain Home, Gassville, Cotter, Norfork, Lakeview, Salesville, Briarcliff and Big Flat.

The county received $786,347 in sales tax revenue during the same time frame last year.

Out of that $374,802 available to the county’s cities, a total of $268,254 went to Mountain Home. Gassville came in second with a total of $45,410, with Cotter following behind with $18, 532. Lakeview and Salesville both received $16,210 and $9,893 respectively.

Norfork and Briarcliff received only $9,726 and $4,936. Out of each city, Big Flat received the least amount of funding with only $1,841 in revenue. Big Flat has a population of roughly 23 people.

Altogether, Baxter County has raised $5,675,901 from its sales tax this year, a full $649,421, or 12.9 % more than it did by July of last year. Out of that total, the county has kept $3,232,158 for its own operating costs. That means the county currently has a 11.4% increase in revenue for its operating costs.

Baxter County also has an additional 0.25% sales tax that is used for the maintenance and operation of the Baxter County Detention Center. That sales tax earned the county jail a total of $1,418,773 over the past seven months, with $217,672 coming in July alone.

While Baxter County draws in the largest amounts of revenue through taxes, it’s followed closely by the City of Mountain Home.

Unlike the county, Mountain Home has several sales taxes that are dedicated to different causes. The first sales tax is the city’s regular 1% sales tax, which drew in $3,232,158 over the past seven months, an 7.1% increase, or $248,394, over the same time period last year.

The second sales tax is a temporary 0.5% tax that pays the bonds for the city’s upcoming community aquatic center. The city has a $230,390 bond payment due each month to pay for the aquatic center. In July alone, the city’s second sales tax raised $286, 854, a full $56,464 above what it needs to pay its bonds.

The third sales tax for Mountain Home is an addition 0.25% permanent sales tax that is being used to help fund the city’s Parks Department. The Parks Department has been focused on upgrading several of the city’s parks over the past few years, including new baseball fields for children and the city’s first ever all inclusive playground.

That sales tax has netted Mountain Home a cool $936,156 for the year so far, with a $143,427 haul in July.

Finally, Mountain Home also has a public safety tax of 0.375% that goes toward the funding of its fire and police services. That tax has generated $1,404,233 so far this year, with July brining in $215,140.

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