July sales ‘flat’ here

Published 5:00 am Thursday, August 22, 2002

Brookhaven maintained a flat July sales tax trend as collectionsdipped slightly and the city fell out of the state’s Top 20 for themonth, according to totals from the Mississippi Tax Commission.

Brookhaven’s $319,366 in July 2002 collections was less than$100 off its July 2001 pace of $319,425.06.

“For the last three years, July has been a moderate month,” saidChandler Russ, executive vice-president of the Brookhaven-LincolnCounty Chamber of Commerce. “We’ve either seen flat figures or hadmoderate gains.”

With the flat July totals, three communities surged up to knockBrookhaven out of the Top 20. Brookhaven dropped from 19th in Juneto 22nd in July while Richland, Olive Branch and Starkville werenewcomers to the top collectors’ list.

Russ said the $319,000 in sales tax still represented strongnumbers economically.

“Obviously, we’re not satisfied with being flat that month, andwe’re going to try finds ways to boost sales,” Russ said.

While he did not single out any business areas, Russ said sometemporary closings may have impacted totals.

Speaking with retailers, Russ said their numbers have beenconsistent with those in 2001. That, combined with new retailopenings and back to school shopping that should be reflected inthe next month’s totals, bodes well for the rest of the year, Russsaid.

“I fully expect our numbers to improve as the months go on andwe finish out the calender year,” Russ said.

Russ also pointed that Brookhaven ranks 28th in population, butit is consistently either in the Top 20 sales tax collectors orjust outside that category.

“We’re well ahead, and we’re still a regional service center,”Russ said.

With July being the first month of the state’s new fiscal year,communities’ monthly totals and year-to-date totals will be thesame.

In other parts of southwest Mississippi, McComb collectionsclimbed to $371,539.80 in July sales tax. The July 2002 total,which placed the city 18th in the state, represented an increase ofjust under $20,000 from the July 2001 total of $352,417.26.

Also in Pike County, Summit businesses gathered $19,050.30 inJuly sales tax, a decrease from last July’s $21,285.51.

In Lawrence County, Monticello merchants took in $33,238.63 forthe city’s share of July 2002 sales tax, a good increase over July2001’s $29,293.02.

Wesson businesses’ July sales tax collections were downconsiderably to $9,574.68, compared to $11,375.37 last July.

To the west in Franklin County, Bude businesses rang up$7,542.93 for the town, which was down compared to July 2001’s$9,355.61. Meadville merchants took in $7,590.73 in July 2002,which was about the same as July 2001 with $7,736.20.