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February sales tax totals up

Brookhaven’s sales tax collections in February saw a healthyjump, but improvement in other communities’ totals caused the cityto fall just outside the state’s Top 20 sales tax collectors.

The city’s $267,039.27 February 2001 total was over $13,000ahead of its $253,445.53 total for February 2000. This year’sFebruary total placed the city at number 21 in statewiderankings.

Community officials said the city is faring well from a regionalstandpoint.

“I think we’re doing very well in southwest Mississippi andshowed 5 percent growth over the same time last year,” saidChandler Russ, executive vice-president of the Brookhaven-LincolnCounty Chamber of Commerce. “And we’re at least 6 percent ahead forthe year.”

In year to date collections, the state has tallied $2,508,561.01in 2001, compared to $2,375,792.93 at same point in 2000. Incomparison, the state’s growth was only at about 1 percent.

“We’re growing faster than state collections,” Russ said.

Activity in some other communities helped pushed Brookhaven outof the Top 20. Starkville, which dips in and out of the Top 20, wasin for February and the community of Horn Lake made an appearanceon the list.

Still, Russ was pleased with the collections numbers and withthe “good job” merchants are doing.

“I think it’s a testament to our local business owners providingquality goods and services to our local citizens as well ascustomers outside our political boundaries,” he said.

Two recent interest rate reductions also helped, Russspeculated. He said those influence automobile purchases, and thecity’s collections are helped by its local dealerships.

“Any time you have a rate reduction, it’s going to help out thatindustry,” Russ said. “We’re fortunate to have those.”

In other parts of southwest Mississippi, McComb collectionsreached $289,181.03 in February sales tax. The February 2001 totalrepresented a decrease of about $7,000 from the February 2000 totalof $296,253.59.

In year-to-date totals, McComb had $2,779,055.23 in 2001 and$2,728,756.19 in 2000.

Also in Pike County, Summit businesses gathered $16,066.86 inFebruary sales tax, a decrease from last February’s $17,321.34. Forthe years-to-date, the town’s 2001 total was $148,214.30, about$11,000 below 2000’s $159,619.03.

In Lawrence County, Monticello merchants took in $28,991.80 forthe city’s share of February 2001 sales tax, down some fromFebruary 2000’s $29,497.08. The city’s 2001 year-to-date totalcontinued to be a little off its 2000 pace: $245,588.19 this yearand $251,251.46 last year.

Wesson businesses’ February sales tax collections dipped to$9,469.63 compared to $9,723.79 last February. Its year-to-datetotal was down as well at $77,071.55 this year and $80,667.16 lastyear.

To the west in Franklin County, Bude businesses rang up$7,144.62 for the town, an almost $1,000 decrease compared toFebruary 2000’s $8,126.85. For 2001, its yearly total was$62,065.72 and $62,197.46 in 2000.

Meadville merchants took in $8,310.83 in February 2001, ahealthy increase from February 2000 with $4,108.11. Yearly totalsshow the town with $75,582.62 in 2001 collections and $32,231.70 in2000 collections.