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Sales tax returns show steady growth

Spending kept cash registers ringing in Brookhaven as December’ssales tax collections remained healthy and strong, according tototals from the Mississippi Tax Commission.

At $332,756.87, Brookhaven’s receipts for the last month of 2003surpassed those of the same period in 2002. The city’s share ofDecember 2002 sales tax collections was $319.301.86.

Chandler Russ, Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerceexecutive vice-president, said the city’s monthly total representedabout a 4 percent increase.

“We’re really the only community in southwest Mississippidemonstrating consistent and steady growth,” Russ said. “Ourretailers are to be commended for providing quality products andservices to consumers.”

Year-to-date collections were even better as the city has takenin about 7 percent more fiscal this year that last year.

This year’s total is $2,035,180.00, compared to $1,889,475.43last year. Fiscal year 2004 started July 1.

“Service is still job one, and Brookhaven is providing that,”Russ said.

With its December 2003 total, Brookhaven ranked 22nd among thestate’s top sales tax collectors.

December collections represent November sales. Russ wasoptimistic that January’s collections would demonstrate strongholiday sales in December.

“All indications from retailers are that they had good strongyear-end activity,” Russ said.

In other parts of southwest Mississippi, McComb collected$372,398.63 as its share of December sales tax.

McComb’s December 2003 total, which placed the city 19th instatewide rankings, represented a decrease of about $6,000 from theDecember 2002 total of $378,657.94. For the fiscal year, McComb had$2,223,729.56 in 2004 and $2,138,290.63 at the same point in2003.

Also in Pike County, Summit businesses gathered $19,175.73 inDecember sales tax, a healthy increase over last December’s$14,371.08. So far in the fiscal year, the city had $113,994.71this year compared to $100,252.36 last year.

In Lawrence County, Monticello merchants took in $32,551.18 forthe city’s share of December 2003 sales tax, which was up slightlyfrom December 2002’s $31,390.05. The city remained ahead in fiscalyear to date collections with $201,717.28 in 2004 and $191,892.49in 2003.

Wesson businesses’ December sales tax collections were up to$8,867.74, compared to $7,943.96 last December. In fiscal year todate collections, the town had $63,021.63 for 2004 and $54,487.97in 2003.

To the west in Franklin County, Bude businesses rang up$8,296.95 for the town, which was up some from December 2002’s$7,384.92. The town was just ahead of its fiscal year to date pace,with $48,047.89 in 2004 and $46,026.39 last year.

Meadville merchants took in $7,553.07 in December 2003, whichwas a drop from December 2002 with $8,629.07. The town remainedahead of its 2003 pace with $50,482.83 this fiscal year and$48,226.11 last year.