Feb. sales tax totals signal some positives

Published 6:38 pm Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sales tax numbers have once again dipped below the amountbudgeted per month by city leaders, but Mayor Les Bumgarner said itlooks like the city can handle the difference at this point.

“Looking at the budget I think we might fall about $15,000 a monthshort on the average, but with the people we’ve lost due toretirement, etc., I think we can handle that amount,” hesaid.

The $390,054.92 brought in for February 2010 is not only close to$7,000 up from last year’s $383,368.67, but also topped both McComband Natchez. In fact, with the February numbers, Brookhaven climbedinto the state’s Top 20 sales tax collectors.

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Meanwhile, it’s still about $25,000 below the projected $415,000per month that aldermen had hoped for when forging the budget for2009-10.

Natchez brought in $387,016.07, which was just about $3,000 lessthan their $390,257.88 mark for 2009. McComb came in at$375,543.07, which was well down from last year’s$412,563.82.

“For the last few years, we’ve beat McComb and Natchez about once ayear,” Bumgarner said. “And we’ve done it at least once to thispoint, too, so that’s positive.”

The mayor also pointed out that Brookhaven is fourth on his list of22 cities of similar sizes that he monitors each month. The sale oflarge items like automobiles is integral to the city’s income, hesaid.

“The deal is the big-ticket items,” he said. “Food and grocerieshelp, but our car dealerships are the key. We just really need themto hang in there.”

Brookhaven is now down $266,745 in overall tax income from where itstood at this time last year. In February of 2009, Brookhaven hadbrought in $3,481,639.95, and in February of 2010, the total restsat $3,214,894.25.

Madison is another town Brookhaven leaders often compare numberswith, especially after their acquisition of a mall. But Madison wasonly slightly up from February of 2009, with a total of $358,908.31over last year’s $356,118.42.

Meanwhile, Starkville is up almost $43,000 over last year, with$448,787.31 for 2010 over $405,289.98 for 2009.

Oxford, however, took a bit of a dip from $444,078.52 in 2009 to$442,061.67 in 2010.