North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Hays told city department heads last week to prepare budgets for fiscal 2010 that incorporate a 5% cut from the current budget after the city reported the fifth straight monthly decline in sales tax revenue.

City finance director Bob Sisson said  collections from the 1% sales tax are down 9.44% since October. The tax has generated $6.7 million in the last five months, he said, down from $7.4 million in the same period last year.

Monthly sales tax revenue is about $200,000 below expectations. The city had predicted the tax would generate $17.7 million in fiscal 2009, up from $16.8 million in fiscal 2008.

Sales taxes account for about 25% of North Little Rock’s general fund budget.

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