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Brookhaven reflects state’strend of lower tax collections

Brookhaven’s sales tax collections for May 2000 took a slightdip from those of May 1999, but chamber of commerce officials saidslower collections appear to be a trend across the state.

“The totals statewide are not keeping pace with what everybodyexpected,” said Chandler Russ, executive vice-president of theBrookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce.

Brookhaven’s May 2000 collections of $303,621.57 were about$8,000 below last May’s $311,251.93.

Some other top cities, however, saw even bigger drops. Biloxi’stotal was down almost $150,000, Ridgeland about $65,000 andMeridian’s approximately $60,000, according to State Tax Commissiontotals.

“In comparison to some other cities, our drop was minimal,” Russsaid.

For the 2000 fiscal year to date, Brookhaven collections arerunning almost $100,000 ahead of its 1999 pace. In 2000,collections were $3,321,843.04 and in 1999, the total was$3,224,511.94.

“As long as we don’t have a significant drop, we’ll be fine,”Russ said. “It’s still a strong showing.”

In rankings, Brookhaven placed 22nd in the state for May.

Russ said annexations by some cities such as Flowood and Clintonhave contributed to pushing Brookhaven out of the state’s Top 20.Russ stressed the importance of citizens shopping locally to keepsales tax dollars at home for the benefit of Brookhaven and LincolnCounty.

In other parts of southwest Mississippi, McComb collectionsreached $334,978.56 in May sales tax, good enough for 19th placestatewide. The May 2000 total represented a decrease of about$15,000 from the May 1999 total of $349,528.63.

In year-to-date totals, McComb had $3,770,247.62 in 2000 and$3,528,648.03 in 1999.

Also in Pike County, Summit businesses gathered $17,841.38 inMay sales tax, a decrease from last May’s $18,903.24. For theyear-to-date, the town’s 2000 total was $216,354.50, slightly below1999’s $218,467.48.

In Lawrence County, Monticello merchants took in $32,144.77 forthe city’s share of May 2000 sales tax, which was almost the sameas May 1999’s $32,132.43. The city’s 2000 year-to-date total wasahead of its 1999 pace: $351,046.02 this year and $336,273.94 lastyear.

Wesson businesses’ May sales tax collections were up to$10,598.13 compared to $9,059.82 last May. Its year-to-date totalwas also higher at $108,481.22 this year and $103,320.68 lastyear.

To the west in Franklin County, Bude businesses rang up$7,662.70 for the town, a big decrease compared to May 1999’s$11,440.73. For 2000, its yearly total was $86,758.68 and$83,082.92 in 1999.

Meadville merchants took in $9,514.54 in May 2000, an increasefrom May 1999 with $8,436.35. Yearly totals show the town with$91,872.11 in 2000 collections and $93,194.00 in 1999collections.