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Ellie WheelerCPEDEmail: email@example.com
by Ellie Wheeler - August 20, 2020
Owners of property in Arkansas will contribute an estimated $2.7 billion in property
tax revenue in 2020. Although school districts are the primary, and perhaps most well-known
recipients of property taxes, this revenue is also an important part of county and
The 2020 Property Tax Publications provide a unique resource for each of Arkansas’s 75 counties, describing the source
and distribution of property tax revenue, property tax rates, trends and potential
for revenue as well as national comparisons. In this publication, we provide information
to better understand the importance of property tax to pay for schools, roads, public
safety and other local services in the state.
You can download a PDF copy of the reports from our website: https://www.uaex.uada.edu/business-communities/local-government/property-taxes.aspx
Property tax revenue makes up over a third of the $5.6 billion in total funding that
school districts in Arkansas received in the 2018-2019 school year (Figure 1).
With oversight from locally elected school boards, school districts use property tax
revenue for many vital expenses, including building construction and maintenance,
teacher salaries, school supplies and equipment. Each district’s reliance on property
tax to fund their schools varies greatly. In the 2018-2019 school year, property taxes
funded as little as 16% (Sevier County) to as much as 55% (Cleburne County) of school
Figure 1. School District Revenue by Source, State of Arkansas, 2018-2019 School Year
Source: Arkansas Department of Education Annual Statistical Report
As a whole, county governments in Arkansas also receive a large portion of their total
revenue from property taxes. Almost a quarter (23%) of county government revenue in
Arkansas came from property taxes in 2017. However, individual counties vary widely
in their reliance on property tax revenue, raising between 3% and 43% of total county
revenue from property tax in 2017 (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Property Tax revenue as a Percent of Total County revenue, 2017
Source: Computed from Arkansas Department of Legislative Audit reports
While the property tax is an important source of revenue for Arkansas schools and
local governments, Arkansans pay some of the lowest property taxes in the nation by
several metrics, and our local government’s reliance on property taxes is decreasing.
Nationwide, only Alabama depended less on property tax as a share of state and local
tax revenue in 2017. In that year, Arkansans also paid the third lowest property tax
per capita and the third lowest property tax per $1,000 in personal income (Figure
Figure 3. Property Tax Revenue as a Percent of Personal Income, 2017
Source: Computed from U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data