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City tax returns follow downward trend across state

Brookhaven sales tax collections in October were down, but thecity was not alone, according to recent totals from the state TaxCommission.

Brookhaven was among 13 of the state’s top 21 collectors to seetotals drop last month. Homeseeker’s Paradise ranked 21st on thelist with collections of $297,306.46, a drop of almost $16,000 fromOctober 2001’s $313,127.60.

Chandler Russ, Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerceexecutive vice-president, blamed a slower overall economy and a”tough month” for automobile sales.

“I believe that probably affected us some at home,” Russsaid.

The October decline was responsible for the difference inyear-to-date collections. For the fiscal years to date, Brookhaven2003 total was $1,264,663.06, while it was $1,280,071.70 at thesame point in FY 02.

Russ remained optimistic and committed to improving totals forthe rest of the year.

“We’re going to work to improve collections, especially as wesee several new retail establishments opening,” he said, mentioningmore ribbon-cutting ceremonies recently as businesses open orreopen. “We should get a good bump in sales tax toward the end ofthe year.”

Russ indicated the lower sales tax numbers could be improved byshoppers staying with their hometown retailers during the upcomingholidays.

“It’s a reminder of why it’s important, as we approach theholiday season, for shoppers to shop with their local retailers andservice providers,” Russ said, adding that sales tax revenue helpskeep other taxes from rising. “Those sales tax dollars that comeback to the city make up a significant portion of the localbudget.”

In other parts of southwest Mississippi, McComb collections fellto $334,649.95 in October sales tax. The October 2002 total, whichplaced the city 19th in the state, represented a decrease of about$19,000 from the October 2001 total of $353,795.65.

In year-to-date totals, McComb had $1,421,676.79 in FY 2003 and$1,417,556.31 in FY 2002.

Also in Pike County, Summit businesses gathered $16,661.25 inOctober sales tax, a decrease from last October’s $17,258.07. Forthe years-to-date, the town’s current total was $71,755.31, downsome from $79,951.05 at the same point last year.

In Lawrence County, Monticello merchants took in $31,351.68 forthe city’s share of October 2002 sales tax, a slight increase overOctober 2001’s $31,017.71. The city’s FY 2003 year-to-date totalstayed ahead of its 2002 pace: $128,594.89 this year and$120,759.62 last year.

Wesson businesses’ October sales tax collections were up to$9,645.00, compared to $9,581.92 last October. Its year-to-datetotal was a little behind its 2002 pace with $37,207.47 this yearand $39,482.52 last year.

To the west in Franklin County, Bude businesses rang up$6,458.84 for the town, which was down compared to October 2001’s$8,069.86. For fiscal year 2003, its yearly total was $31,259.77and $33,934.94 in 2002.

Meadville merchants took in $8,052.88 in October 2002, which wasdown from October 2001 with $8,936.72. Yearly totals show the townwith $31,812.73 in FY 2003 collections and $32,050.93 in FY 2002collections.