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Sales tax returns for Brookhaven show good holiday

Brookhaven posted near-record sales tax collections in January,helping the city to continue a good year in the revenue category,according to totals from the state Tax Commission.

With $367,701.86 for the first month of 2002, the city ranked20th statewide. The January figures represent purchases made inDecember.

“We stayed in the top 20 even though we had about $8,000 lessthan January 2001” with $375,644.58, said Chandler Russ, executivevice-president of the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber ofCommerce.

Russ said, however, the January 2001 total was “abnormallyhigh.”

“It’s probably the most that’s ever been collected,” Russsaid.

While the January 2001 to 2002 total was down 2 percent, Russpointed out that the January 2002 total was about 11 percent morethan it was in January 1999 and 8 percent more than in January2000.

“All in all, we’re very pleased with the numbers, which are someof the highest totals ever collected by Brookhaven,” Russ said.

In fiscal year to date totals, Brookhaven had $2,299,261.62 sofar in 2002 and $2,241,521.74 through the same point in 2001.

“We’re still at about 3 percent growth, or about $58,000 abovelast year’s collections,” Russ said.

Russ said the city had strong numbers, which were well above thestate growth rate. He said McComb, which surpassed Natchez in themonthly rankings, was the only area city to post a significantincrease.

“Surely, we’d like to see the trend continue and for us to stayabove the state growth average,” Russ said.

Russ expected good totals in February. He attributed that toconversations with local automobile dealers and other businessrepresentatives.

“They’ve been optimistic about a strong sales month, and theyseem to be going well,” Russ said.

In other parts of southwest Mississippi, McComb collectionsclimbed to $478,173,68 in January sales tax. The January 2001total, which placed the city 15th in the state, represented anincrease of about $29,000 from the January 2001 total of$449,089.27.

In year-to-date totals, McComb had $2,607,043.11 in 2002 and$2,489,874.20 in 2001.

Also in Pike County, Summit businesses gathered $16,655.79 inJanuary sales tax, a a big decrease from last January’s $22,062.40.For the years-to-date, the town’s 2002 total was $132,043.01,almost the same as 2001’s $132,147.44.

In Lawrence County, Monticello merchants took in $33,499.12 forthe city’s share of January 2002 sales tax, a small increase overJanuary 2001’s $32,703.48. The city’s 2002 year-to-date totalstayed slightly ahead of its 2001 pace: $218,694.53 this year and$216,596.39 last year.

Wesson businesses’ January sales tax collections were down to$10,389.15, compared to $10,511.75 last January. Its year-to-datetotal remained ahead of its 2001 pace with $70,968.549 this yearand $67,601.92 last year.

To the west in Franklin County, Bude businesses rang up$8,041.02 for the town, a minimal decrease compared to January2001’s $8,095.99. For 2002, its yearly total was $58,763.64 and$54,921.10 in 2001.

Meadville merchants took in $9,309.62 in January 2001, wellbelow January 2001 with $12,018.07. Yearly totals show the townwith $57,603.64 in 2002 collections and $67,271.79 in 2001collections.