Despite pandemic, Baxter County, Arkansas reports sales tax boom

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MT. HOME, Ar.– You might think, with businesses across the country continuing to struggle in the wake of COVID-19, that economies across the country are down. If so, think again.

As Ozarks First’s Jacob Blount reported Wednesday, Baxter County, Arkansas is actually reporting a 15% spike in revenue.

Jenay Mize, Treasurer of Baxter County, Arkansas, says this was the highest one-month total she’s ever seen since assuming office about 7 year ago.

“It has to do with people getting their stimulus checks at that time and the extra $600 on unemployment, federal assistance. So it’s kind of a false increase, but we’ll take it,” Mize said Wednesday.

Records also show many residents were shopping online.

Judge Mickey Pendergrass says a new state law now allows counties to receive more sales tax revenue from shopping online.

“So people are isolating at home, they’re shopping online, it’s getting sent to the house. We’re still collecting the sales tax and two or three years ago, that was not the fact,” Pendergrass said Wednesday.

Mize believes these numbers may continue to be high through the reports for the month of July because residents were still receiving the extra $600 in federal aid for unemployment.

“As long as that money is coming in, people will be able to spend. So I look for it to be up the next three months,” Mize said.

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