Sales tax totals see May drop

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Like much of the state, Brookhaven’s sales tax returns dipped inMay, according to totals from the Mississippi Tax Commission.

With $306,502.51 last month, the city’s total was down almost$22,000 from May 2002’s $328,285.32. The 2003 total placed the city21st in the state.

“Most of the state had disappointing returns,” said ChandlerRuss, Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce executivevice-president. “That’s really just a sign of the times.”

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Of the Top 20 collectors, 15 had lower monthly totals in May2003 than in May 2002. For Brookhaven, Russ said he had noticed apattern of collections being up one month and down the next, but hedid not have a reason for the May decline.

“My suspicion is some folks missing the (reporting) deadline,”Russ said. “You may have some correction in the months ahead.”

Fiscal year to date statistics were also not good for Brookhavenas the city’s 2003 total was more than $50,000 below the total forthe same point in 2002. This year’s total was $3,501,739.06 whilelast year’s was $3,553,890.12.

Russ was hopeful that sales tax collections would level out andthe city could play catch up the rest of the year.

“It’s more evidence why we need to remind area shoppers to shoplocally for their goods and services,” Russ said. “Those dollarsmake up a significant portion of the city budget.”

Russ said shoppers are being more decisive in their spendinghabits and are looking for bargains and discounts. He alsoindicated that more money was being saved.

“They’re holding onto it more than in the past,” Russ said.”There’s not as much expenditure as we’ve had in the past.”

In other parts of southwest Mississippi, McComb collectionsslipped slightly to $336,158.35 in May sales tax. The May 2003total, which placed the city 18th in the state, represented adecrease of about $4,000 from the May 2002 total of$340,070.31.

In year-to-date totals, McComb had $4,001,314.16 in 2003 and$3,999,899.42 in 2002.

Also in Pike County, Summit businesses gathered $14,268.05 inMay sales tax, an approximately $5,000 decrease from last May’s$19,657.33. For the years-to-date, the town’s 2003 total was$179.618.48, about $23,000 behind 2002’s $202,607.91.

In Lawrence County, Monticello merchants took in $28,320.21 forthe city’s share of May 2002 sales tax, a drop from May 2002’s$30,953.03. The city’s 2003 year-to-date total stayed ahead of its2002 pace: $350,202.88 this year and $343,670.17 last year.

Wesson businesses’ May sales tax collections were down over$4,000 to $5,936.33, compared to $10,373.47 last May. Itsyear-to-date total trailed its 2002 pace with $97,715.20 this yearand $109,291.92 last year.

To the west in Franklin County, Bude businesses rang up$4,142.17 for the town, another decrease compared to May 2002’s$7,639.02. For 2003, its yearly total was $79,507.81 and $89,381.46in 2002.

Meadville merchants took in $5,725.90 in May 2002, down from May2002 with $7,718.43. Yearly totals show the town with $88,014.03 in2003 collections and $93,291.52 in 2002 collections.