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February sales tax totals flat

A “flat” February in the area of sales tax collections placedBrookhaven just outside the state’s Top 20 cities, but chamber ofcommerce officials said the totals for the second month of 2003still represent good, solid numbers.

With $286,711.91, Brookhaven ranked 21st among Mississippi’s topsales tax collection communities. The 2003 total was a little lessthan $1,000 off the February 2002 total of $287,690.39.

“It was a slight decrease,” said Chandler Russ,Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce executivevice-president, adding that the total reflected an overall slowernational and regional economy. “It was still pretty decentcollections for that month.”

In year to date collections, which started in July, Brookhavenin 2003 remained about $21,000 off its 2002 pace. This year,collections totaled $2,565,053.67 compared to last year’s$2,586,952.01 at the same point.

Russ remained optimistic about the remainder of the year. Hesaid collections for February, which represent sales in January,are traditionally the lowest of the year.

“The major shopping season has just ended and there’s just not alot of shoppers out there buying a lot of durable goods,” Russsaid.

In other parts of southwest Mississippi, McComb collectionsslipped to $316,972.33 in February sales tax. The February 2003total, which placed the city 18th in the state, represented adecrease of about $4,000 from the February 2002 total of$320,747.40.

In year-to-date totals, McComb had $2,91,805.37 in 2003 and$2,927,790.51 in 2002.

Also in Pike County, Summit businesses gathered $14,406.67 inFebruary sales tax, a decrease from last February’s $17,785.16. Forthe years-to-date, the town’s 2003 total was $132,418.42, about$17,000 behind 2002’s $149,828.17.

In Lawrence County, Monticello merchants took in $30,581.98 forthe city’s share of February 2002 sales tax, a slight increase overFebruary 2002’s $29,508.12. The city’s 2003 year-to-date totalstayed ahead of its 2002 pace: $256,383.04 this year and$248,202.65 last year.

Wesson businesses’ February sales tax collections were down to$8,776.93, compared to $9,297.20 last February. Its year-to-datetotal trailed its 2002 pace with $73,767.98 this year and$80,265.74 last year.

To the west in Franklin County, Bude businesses rang up$7,424.47 for the town, a decrease compared to February 2002’s$7,895.94. For 2003, its yearly total was $60,982.65 and $66,659.58in 2002.

Meadville merchants took in $7,647.28 in February 2002, downfrom February 2002 with $8,863.85. Yearly totals show the town with$65,720.50 in 2003 collections and $66,467.49 in 2002collections.