Sales tax totals down for April

Published 5:00 am Monday, May 16, 2005

Brookhaven’s sales tax totals slipped slightly in April, butchamber of commerce officials say recent economic changes are causefor optimism in the months ahead.

At $345,691.40 last month, Brookhaven’s share of sales tax wasdown about $8,000 from April 2004’s $353,192.66, according to stateTax Commission totals. Even with the drop, though, the city stillranked 22nd among the state’s top collectors.

Cliff Brumfield, executive vice president of theBrookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, cited severalfactors in the sales tax decrease.

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Brumfield said it was possibly reflective of an increase inunemployment in March, which was up just over half a point. April’scollection totals represent sales made in March.

Weather conditions which may have impacted some outdoor workers’incomes and higher gasoline prices may also have contributed to thedecrease. However, Brumfield said an improving stock market andrecent drops in gas prices could signal better days ahead.

“Hopefully, we’ll see our May numbers increase as the vacationseason approaches,” Brumfield said.

In year-to-date totals, Brookhaven’s 2005 collections remainedahead of those at the same point in 2004. Its 2005 total throughApril was $3,399,755.72 compared to $3,391,805.86 last year.