The finance committees of the City of Mena and the Advertising and Promotion Commission have each met to review 2021 budgets and make proposals to the city and commission.
City Treasurer Linda Rexroad said the city’s budget for 2021 will look similar to 2020.
“I went with basically the same budget for city based on county sales tax projections, which have been higher this year than in the past.”
Rexroad attributes the increase in sales tax to people shopping locally, rather than traveling outside the area due to COVID precautions, as well as Internet sales tax revenue being collected in the state.
“Despite the revenue being higher, we are keeping the budget the same and not adding additional items,” Rexroad explained. “Revenue will come in above the budgeted amount this year, but I’d rather err on the side of being conservative, just in case it does fall.”
Despite overall sales tax being greater in the county this year, the tax revenue generated by the Advertising and Promotion tax, which is applied at dining and lodging facilities, has taken a hit due to many restaurants being closed in March and April, as well as some reduced lodging occupancy due to COVID travel precautions this year.
With sales tax revenue for December not yet collected, Polk County reports an increase of $144,828 in 2020 over 2019.
That increase includes the months where COVID restrictions were felt financially in March in April, causing a loss of more than $2,600 in sales tax.