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City continuing strong sales tax trend

Brookhaven sales tax collections continued a good start to thestate’s fiscal year and they remained “on target” to finish thecity’s fiscal year on a strong note, according to the statisticsfrom the Mississippi Department of Revenue.

At $411,896.37, Brookhaven’s collections for August 2010 were up alittle more than $5,000 from last August’s total of$406,474.78.

“It’s working out pretty well,” said Mayor Les Bumgarner about thesales tax trend.

August’s sales tax report represents sales made in July. Citiesthen receive their share of the sales tax collections inSeptember.

After two months of the state’s fiscal year, which began July 1,Brookhaven’s cumulative share of sales tax collections stood at$853,420.69 for this year. That was up more than $20,000 from lastyear’s $831,899.76 at the same point.

For Brookhaven’s fiscal year, which runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30,Bumgarner said the city is “on target.” He said August’s $411,000total is right at the $415,000 the city budgeted to receive eachmonth from sales tax.

“Any time you have over $400,000, that’s a good month,” the mayorsaid.

Among statewide rankings, Brookhaven placed 24th in August. Thecity also slipped back to a familiar spot in a comparison of 20similarly sized cities that Bumgarner tracks.

“One average, we’re right in the middle. The last three months(before August), we were sixth,” Bumgarner said.

However, last month, Brookhaven came in 10th with a total thattrailed both Natchez and McComb. Natchez’s total was $436,889.84and McComb’s was $22,237.48.

Bumgarner was hopeful that economic doldrums as far as sales taxhave “bottomed out.”

“I think the way up in the economy is going to be a slow climb, oreven level off,” Bumgarner said, adding that those trends wouldallow for easier budgeting versus times when the economy is goingdownward.

The mayor was also optimistic about the upcoming startup of RexLumber and the impact of jobs on sales tax results. The business isexpected to start in January and bring around 125-150 jobs to thearea.

“I think that’s going to make a big difference,” Bumgarnersaid.