• 75°

Brookhaven Oct. sales tax totals mixed

Going into the holiday season, Brookhaven’s sales tax numbersare down more than $25,000 from the budgeted $415,000 city leadersexpect to keep spending on track.

Brookhaven’s check for October registered at $379,090.75, ascompared with neighboring McComb, which brought in $387,812.86 andNatchez, which led the three cities with $404,324.63.

“This is considerably lower than the $415,000 we’ve gotbudgeted,” said Mayor Les Bumgarner, adding that perhaps the cityshould lower its projections. “With the economy like it is,$415,000 might be too high.”

The mayor said he monitors numbers of about 25 citiesBrookhaven’s size. Of those, only three were up from last year, andone was a college town.

“It’s a trend everywhere,” he said.

Brookhaven’s numbers look as though there was a $50,000 increasefrom last year, but the $328,397.23 recorded in October 2008 wasdown considerably after a correction from an audit payment made tothe city in September 2008 that had to be taken back out of thenext check.

McComb is down $80,000 from last year, with October of last yearshowing a total of $467,383.63. Meanwhile, Natchez dropped about$43,000 from 2008’s $447,675.15.

In rankings among the state’s top sales tax collectors,Brookhaven placed 22nd. Madison, Starkville, Oxford and Corinth,other cities commonly compared to Brookhaven at sales tax time,were all down in their numbers as well.

And yet, at the recent Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting,Industrial Board Foundation Chairman Bill Sones pointed out thatBrookhaven is still hanging tough among other cities in thestate.

“In sales tax, we lead the league in the state for communitiesour size,” he said.

Sones returned to the mantra that city leaders have chanted eversince the economy started to slide nationally.

“People ask me all the time when this recession will be over,”he said. “If we shop at home, it’ll be over in Brookhaven andLincoln County a lot faster.”