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Shoppers ring cash registers

Brookhaven continued its modest sales tax growth pattern inAugust, but chamber of commerce officials expect totals to pick upin the months ahead.

With collections of $321,962.01, Brookhaven’s total last monthwas over $6,500 above its August 2001 total of $315,389.86.Chandler Russ, Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, saidthe city was doing well in comparison to other communities.

“We are growing at a modest 1 percent,” Russ said. “It ispositive in that several communities are having negative growth forthe year.”

Brookhaven ranked 20th among the state’s top sales taxcollectors. Russ said 13 of the top 20 sales tax collectors in thestate posted gains while seven saw declines.

Russ pointed out that Brookhaven’s ranking was based only onsales tax collected inside the city limits. Lincoln County’spopulation total, however, ranked 28th in the state.

“It’s a sign that our local businesses, automobile dealers andretailers are doing an outstanding job of enticing customers toshop in their places of business,” said Russ, adding thatBrookhaven should continue to see positive growth for the remainderof fiscal year 2003.

Fiscal year 2003 began in July and year to date total representtwo months of collections. Through August, Brookhaven had taken in$641,328.42 in FY 03, compared to $634,814.92 at the same point inFY 02.

In other parts of southwest Mississippi, McComb collectionsclimbed to $363,140.87 in August sales tax. The August 2002 total,which placed the city 18th in the state, represented an increase ofa little under $25,000 from the August 2001 total of$338,537.81.

In year-to-date totals, McComb had $734,680.67 in fiscal year2003 and $690,955.07 in FY 2002.

Also in Pike County, Summit businesses gathered $18,269.08 inAugust sales tax, a decrease from last August’s $19,493.90. For theyears-to-date, the town’s 2002 total was $37,319.38, down some from2001’s $40,779.41.

In Lawrence County, Monticello merchants took in $29,677.54 forthe city’s share of August 2002 sales tax, a small increase overAugust 2001’s $29,320.68. The city’s FY 2003 year-to-date totalstayed ahead of its 2002 pace: $62,916.17 this year and $58,613.70last year.

Wesson businesses’ August sales tax collections were up to$9,186.69, compared to $8,563.99 last August. Its year-to-datetotal was a little behind its 2002 pace with $18,761.37 this yearand $19,939.36 last year.

To the west in Franklin County, Bude businesses rang up$9,882.74 for the town, which was up considerably compared toAugust 2001’s $7,536.37. For fiscal year 2003, its yearly total was$17,425.67 and $16,891.98 in 2002.

Meadville merchants took in $8,157.44 in August 2002, which wasup from August 2001 with $7,609.25. Yearly totals show the townwith $15,748.17 in 2002 collections and $15,345.45 in 2001collections.