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Sales tax total down again in November

Brookhaven sales tax collections in November were down for thesecond month in a row compared to the same period in 2001,according to statistics from the Mississippi Tax Commission.

With collections of $305,510.51, the city’s collections lastmonth were more than $17,000 less than the $322,564.40 taken in inNovember 2001.

“We’re a little disappointed in the returns for November,” saidChandler Russ, Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce.

Russ attributed part of the decline to slow automobile salesnationally and locally. He said they make up a large percentage andthat compounds the effects when other areas are slow as well.

“We’re still hoping for a strong December to pull this year outin a positive way,” Russ said.

October 2002’s collections were also down compared to theOctober 2001 total. Russ said the two months of declines make upthe approximately $32,000 difference in year-to-date totals:$1,570,173.57 this year and $1,602,636.10 last year.

Russ said it usually takes several months for collections fromnew retail establishments to start appearing in state totals.

“We’re hoping that those numbers will start appearing inDecember,” Russ said.

Brookhaven was not alone in seeing slower collections.

“The entire state has been down the last two months,” Russ said.”All in all, they’re still good growth numbers. They’re just downfrom this time last year.”

For November, Brookhaven ranked 22nd among the top sales taxcollectors. Yet, the city’s population was 29th.

“It speaks highly of Brookhaven,” Russ said of thedifference.

However, Russ said citizens need to continue to be loyal andshop locally.

“Every tax dollars received makes a difference toward the city’sgrowth and development and its being able to provide services tocitizens,” Russ said.

In other parts of southwest Mississippi, McComb collections fellto $337,955.90 in November sales tax. The November 2002 total,which placed the city 20th in the state, represented a slightdecrease from the November 2001 total of $338,534.58.

In year-to-date totals, McComb had $1,759.632.69 in FY 2003 and$1,756,090.89 in FY 2002.

Also in Pike County, Summit businesses gathered $14,125.97 inNovember sales tax, a decrease from last November’s $18,590.70. Forthe years-to-date, the town’s current total was $85,881.28, downalmost $13,000 from $98,541.75 at the same point last year.

In Lawrence County, Monticello merchants took in $31,907.55 forthe city’s share of November 2002 sales tax, a slight increase overNovember 2001’s $30,344.45. The city’s FY 2003 year-to-date totalstayed ahead of its 2002 pace: $160,502.44 this year and$151,104.07 last year.

Wesson businesses’ November sales tax collections were up to$9,336.54, compared to $10,554.81 last November. Its year-to-datetotal was a little behind its 2002 pace with $46,544.01 this yearand $50,037.33 last year.

To the west in Franklin County, Bude businesses rang up$7,381.70 for the town, which was down compared to November 2001’s$8,287.97. For fiscal year 2003, its yearly total was $38,641.47and $42,222.91 in 2002.

Meadville merchants took in $7,784.31 in November 2002, whichwas down from November 2001 with $8,076.17. Yearly totals show thetown with $39,597.04 in FY 2003 collections and $40,127.10 in FY2002 collections.