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City climbs back into top 20 spot

Brookhaven sales tax collections maintained a healthy trend inDecember as its 2001 monthly total was more than $24,000 ahead ofthe same period in 2000, according to the latest statistics fromthe Mississippi Tax Commission.

With collections of $328,923.66 in December 2001, Brookhavenclimbed back into the state’s Top 20 collectors after being atnumber 21 in November. The city’s December 2000 sales tax total was$304,362.23.

Chandler Russ, Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerceexecutive vice-president, said the monthly comparisons representedabout 8 percent growth and the city was at around 4 percent growthfor the fiscal year. In yearly comparisons, the city had$1,931,559.76 in 2001 and $1,865,877.16 at the same point in2000.

“I’m happy with that trend in the wake of what’s going onnationally,” Russ said.

Russ attributed the strong December showing to a healthyexpansion of the retail economy, again brought on in part due tostrong automobile purchase incentives.

“Also, our existing retailers have been providing superior goodsand services to their customers,” Russ said. “Finally, we are alsoseeing the benefits of new retail starts over the past twoyears.”

Russ said the city remains ahead of the state’s growth rate. Headded the chamber will work hard to see that it continues.

“But our hats are off to our retailers and auto dealers fortheir hard work,” Russ said.

In other parts of southwest Mississippi, McComb collectionsclimbed to $372,778.54 in December sales tax. The December 2001total, which placed the city 17th in the state, represented anincrease of about $25,000 from the December 2000 total of$347,627.03.

In year-to-date totals, McComb had $2,128,869.43 in 2001 and$2,040,784.93 in 2000.

Also in Pike County, Summit businesses gathered $16,845.47 inDecember sales tax, an increase from last December’s $15,658.81.For the years-to-date, the town’s 2001 total was $115,387.22, about$5,000 ahead of 2000’s $110,085.04.

In Lawrence County, Monticello merchants took in $34,091.34 forthe city’s share of December 2001 sales tax, a nice increase overDecember 2000’s $30,191.59. The city’s 2001 year-to-date totalmoved the city ahead of its 2000 pace: $185,195.41 this year and$183,892.91 last year.

Wesson businesses’ December sales tax collections were upconsiderably to $10,542.06, compared to $8,088.87 last December.Its year-to-date total remained ahead of its 2000 pace with$60,579.39 this year and $57,090.17 last year.

To the west in Franklin County, Bude businesses rang up$8,499.71 for the town, a good increase compared to December 2000’s$7,604.17. For 2001, its yearly total was $50,722.62 and $46,825.11in 2000.

Meadville merchants took in $8,166.92 in December 2001, a smalldecrease from December 2000 with $8,438.65. Yearly totals show thetown with $48,294.02 in 2001 collections and $55,253.72 in 2000collections.