• 68°

December sales tax collections down slightly

Brookhaven finished 2000 on a flat note as its monthly sales taxcollections were virtually the same as its 1999 total for themonth, according to statistics from the Mississippi TaxCommission.

At $304,362.23, the city’s December 2000 total was less than$250 under its 1999 total of of $304,587.43. The 2000 total placedthe city just outside the state’s Top 20 at Number 21.

Chandler Russ, executive vice-president of theBrookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, managed to see somegood news in the numbers in the face of an uncertain economy. Hepointed out that a number of surrounding cities’ totals were downor also unchanged from the same month in 1999.

“Spending was frugal as we heard fears of a weakening nationaleconomy, coupled with rising gas prices, as well as anunpredictable stock market,” Russ said. “But we were able to dig inand maintain spending levels from a robust 1999.”

For the years to date, Brookhaven sales tax totaled$1,865,877.16 in 2000 and $1,789,451.12 On a percentage basis, Russsaid Brookhaven still compares favorably with statewide totals andthe city’s growth rate is ahead of the state’s.

“The outlook is positive, especially if we get relief from gasprices and as interest rates are going back down,” Russ said.”Brookhaven’s local economy is strong, but we need some help fromsome things outside of our immediate control in the way of gasprices and rising stock prices.”

In other parts of southwest Mississippi, McComb collectionsreached $347,627.03 in December sales tax, which was good enoughfor 17th place statewide. The December 2000 total represented adecrease of about $9,500 from the December 1999 total of$356,077.68.

In year-to-date totals, McComb had $2,040,784.93 in 2000 and$1,991,560.06 in 1999.

Also in Pike County, Summit businesses gathered $15,658.81 inDecember sales tax, a decrease from last December’s $18,494.36. Forthe years-to-date, the town’s 2000 total was $110,085.04, over$12,000 below 1999’s $122,797.46.

In Lawrence County, Monticello merchants took in $30,191.59 forthe city’s share of December 2000 sales tax, a very slight decreasefrom December 1999’s $30,210.46. The city’s 2000 year-to-date totalcontinued to be a little off its 1999 pace: $183,892.91 this yearand $185,612.15 last year.

Wesson businesses’ December sales tax collections were up to$8,806.91 compared to $10,907.34 last December. Its year-to-datetotal was down as well at $57,090.17 this year and $59,793.77 lastyear.

To the west in Franklin County, Bude businesses rang up$7,604.17 for the town, a little increase compared to December1999’s $7,465.94. For 2000, its yearly total was $46,825.11 and$45,455.89 in 1999.

Meadville merchants took in $8,438.65 in December 2000, asignificant decrease from December 1999 with $10,417.90. Yearlytotals show the town with $55,253.72 in 2000 collections and$49,091.56 in 1999 collections.