The Little Rock City Board received a report this week on 10 months worth of sales tax collections and the income, the biggest single source of city spending, remains sluggish.
For 10 months, the revenue of $84 million in sales tax is only .95 percent more than the same period last year and .12 percent below an amended budget that was ratcheted down for lower-than-expected receipts. The city will need growth of 2.19 percent in the final two months to meet the budgeted growth rate. In December, growth was 1.77 percent, however.
These numbers don’t augur well for new Mayor Frank Scott Jr.’s hope to expand the police force. They occur in a year in which non-uniform employees received no general pay raise. He has said he’d produce money for new police jobs by cutting other departments.
These figures don’t include the 3-8th-cent sales tax devoted to capital projects, expected to produce $19.2 million at a 2 percent growth rate. That income, too, has lagged behind expectations.