City officials encouraged by sales tax totals

Published 5:00 am Monday, August 25, 2008

With the city’s public hearing on the budget Tuesday night, oneimportant aspect of Brookhaven’s financial standing is monthlysales tax, which is still substantially above projectednumbers.

City officials have said the new budget includes projections of$425,000 in sales tax each month, and July’s $451,148.03 is anotherencouraging month, in officials’ opinions.

The sales tax numbers are up roughly $50,000 from July of 2007,which saw sales tax at $401,412.07.

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While June’s figures were in the top three for cities its sizein the state and 19th overall, July’s total put Brookhaven in thetop four for cities its size.

Leading the way was Corinth at $490,698, McComb with$473,338.65, and Oxford at $460,816.76. Brookhaven is still aheadof Natchez, which took in $436,829.32 for the month of July.

“We’ve been third and fourth in our study the last few months,”said Mayor Bob Massengill, who keeps a tally of about 20 citiesaround the state with populations between 12,000 and 18,000.

Massengill said just being over the monthly budgeted amount is agood thing for the city, pointing out that extra revenue for thecity means that things such as property tax will be able to staylower.

“If we’re conservative with our budget for revenue and we’rerealistic with our expenditures, we’ll have a good year ahead,” hesaid.

Year-to-date numbers are the same as the monthly totals sincethe state’s fiscal year starts July 1.

Brookhaven’s fiscal year starts Oct. 1. Officials will hold apublic hearing on the city budget for the new fiscal year Tuesdayat 5:30 p.m. in the city board room at the government complex.

Other city officials are excited about sales tax numbers aswell, saying the progress in recent years points to goodthings.

“I can remember when it was in the $370,000 to $375,000 (amonth) range,” said Alderman at-large Les Bumgarner at Thursday’sbudget work session. “That wasn’t too long ago.”

Meanwhile, city officials are still encouraging Lincoln Countyresidents to shop at home, emphasizing that 1.3 cents out of everyseven cents returns to Brookhaven in sales tax.