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Sales tax returns show economy strong here

Summer got off to a good start for Brookhaven as the city posteda healthy increase in June sales tax collections and climbedslightly in state rankings, according to statistics from theMississippi Tax Commission.

With collections of $33,878.86, Brookhaven’s June 2002 total wasup almost $10,000 over the same period in 2001. That representedgrowth of around 4 percent, said Chandler Russ, Brookhaven-LincolnCounty Chamber of Commerce executive vice-president.

“Especially in light of the current situation (nationwide), it’sa testament that our local economy is strong, vibrant andexpanding,” Russ said of the June total. “With that, we hope tocontinue the growth with a more regional emphasis in thefuture.”

Brookhaven’s June total placed it 19th statewide, which was onespot higher than in May. Brookhaven was one of 11 cities in the Top20 to see increases in their sales tax collections.

“There are many communities in the Top 20 that aren’t seeing aconsistent increase,” Russ said. “We’re very fortunate to have aconsistent 2 to 6 percent increase on a monthly basis.”

On a year to date basis, Brookhaven took in $3,887,768.98 infiscal year 2002, with July being the start of a new state fiscalyear. In fiscal year 2001, Brookhaven collected $3,774,747.34.

Russ said the city’s yearly total was also about a 4 percentincrease. He said the monthly and yearly collections were abouttwice the state’s collection rate.

Russ attributed the good showing to Brookhaven retailers,automobile dealers and other businesses continuing to provide goodsand services on a regional basis.

“We’re fortunate to be the position we are with a strong localeconomy, and I think we’ll continue to grow and expand,” Russsaid.

In other parts of southwest Mississippi, McComb collectionsclimbed to $363,373.51 in June sales tax. The June 2002 total,which placed the city 18th in the state, represented an increase ofjust under $10,000 from the June 2001 total of $353,391.64.

In year-to-date totals, McComb had $4,363,272.93 in 2002 and$4,181,643.12 in 2001.

Also in Pike County, Summit businesses gathered $20,403.63 inJune sales tax, a decrease from last June’s $21,331.96. For theyears-to-date, the town’s 2002 total was $223,011.54, down a littlefrom 2001’s $225,718.95.

In Lawrence County, Monticello merchants took in $34,328.40 forthe city’s share of June 2002 sales tax, a small increase over June2001’s $33,322.27. The city’s 2002 year-to-date total stayed aheadof its 2001 pace: $377,998.57 this year and $370,258.38 lastyear.

Wesson businesses’ June sales tax collections were up slightlyto $9,878.52, compared to $8,562.62 last June. Its year-to-datetotal remained ahead of its 2001 pace with $119,170.44 this yearand $116,206.01 last year.

To the west in Franklin County, Bude businesses rang up$8,456.39 for the town, which was up compared to June 2001’s$7,817.64. For 2002, its yearly total was $97,837.85 and $93,885.35in 2001.

Meadville merchants took in $10,433.97 in June 2002, which wasup considerably from June 2001 with $7,585.80. Yearly totals showthe town with $103,725.49 in 2002 collections and $108,297.75 in2001 collections.