Sales tax returns show shoppers hitting stores

Published 5:00 am Monday, April 22, 2002

With collections of almost $311,000, Brookhaven climbed back inthe state’s Top 20 sales tax collectors in March and is continuingto post a good yearly total, said Chandler Russ, executivevice-president of the chamber of commerce.

Brookhaven’s $310,889.51 in March 2002 was good enough for 20thplace statewide and more than $18,000 ahead of March 2001’s$292,275.48, according to state tax commission totals. The city wasranked 22nd in the state in February.

In year to date totals, Brookhaven in fiscal year 2002 wasalmost $100,000 ahead of its 2001 pace, with $2,897,841.52collected this year and $,2,800,836.49 last year at this time. Russsaid the city’s growth percentage was approximately twice that ofthe state’s and about 5 percent more on a monthly basis.

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“People are spending money again,” said Russ, who attributed thegood showing to a number of new retail establishments and strongautomobile sales.

Russ said the economy is starting to recover and that is beingreflected in the sales tax numbers. He added that it is a good timeto buy large, durable items.

“I think you’re seeing the local economy begin to strengthen,”Russ said. “I hope this is a trend that continues.”

In other parts of southwest Mississippi, McComb collectionsclimbed to $354.633.87 in March sales tax. The March 2002 total,which placed the city 17th in the state, represented an increase ofover $20,000 from the March 2001 total of $334,487.00.

In year-to-date totals, McComb had $3,282,424.38 in 2002 and$3,113,542.23 in 2001.

Also in Pike County, Summit businesses gathered $15,569.48 inMarch sales tax, a decrease from last March’s $16,261.17. For theyears-to-date, the town’s 2002 total was $165,397.65, still alittle higher than 2001’s $164,475.47.

In Lawrence County, Monticello merchants took in $31,210.33 forthe city’s share of March 2002 sales tax, a small increase overMarch 2001’s $30,112.52. The city’s 2002 year-to-date total stayedahead of its 2001 pace: $279,412.98 this year and $275,700.71 lastyear.

Wesson businesses’ March sales tax collections were down to$9,057.83, compared to $9,884.34 last March. Its year-to-date totalremained ahead of its 2001 pace with $89,323.57 this year and$86,955.89 last year.

To the west in Franklin County, Bude businesses rang up$6,816.32 for the town, which was down compared to March 2001’s$7,063.62. For 2002, its yearly total was $73,475.90 and $69,129.34in 2001.

Meadville merchants took in $9,176.23 in March 2001, which wasabove March 2001 with $8,450.05. Yearly totals show the town with$75,643.72 in 2002 collections and $84,032.67 in 2001collections.