• 66°

City sales tax collections drop slightly in Dec.

Stuffing the pantry with all the favorite holiday trimmings andputting a little cash away for the man with the thick white beardand red suite may have caused the city’s sales tax numbers to dip alittle, but Brookhaven continues to stay ahead of the curvecompared to this time last year.

The Mississippi Department of Revenue report for December, whichreflected sales made in November, showed Brookhaven taking in$391,650.18 as the city’s share of sales tax collections. That wasdown roughly $7,500 from the same month in 2009.

However, Brookhaven-Lincoln County Executive Vice President CliffBrumfield said the slight dip from a year ago is no cause for majorconcern. He said due to the nature of Brookhaven’s diverse retailmix, the city’s sales will tend to sway greatly in different timesof the year.

“Local stores have reported having great sales through the fourthquarter of 2010,” said Brumfield. “What these numbers reinforce ishow sensitive our local market is when we don’t support the localpurchase of big ticket items.”

Brumfield also added the slight drop in sales may have resultedfrom residents gearing up for the holiday season and preparing for2011.

“Our retail growth has not changed,” said Brumfield. “We are merelyseeing the reaction in the market as people slow spending on bigticket items as they prepare for year-end expenses.”

Brookhaven finds itself behind the neighboring cities of Natchezand McComb by roughly $21,000 and $31,000, respectively. However,Homeseekers Paradise finds itself ahead of Grenada by roughly$80,000 and Ocean Springs by about $30,000.

Not stacking up as well to the usual competition for the month ofDecember is no reason for local businessmen and retail supportersto become discouraged.

“Holding this close to where we have been in the past couple yearsis good,” said Brumfield. “We will continue to see months where ournumbers trump that of larger communities.”

While December 2010 may have not topped December 2009, Brookhavencontinues to boast higher sales to date compared to 2009.

From the July 1 beginning of the state’s fiscal year, Brookhavenhas collected $2,448,603.12 in sales tax revenue. The 2010 total is$63,681.20 more than at the same point in 2009.

Despite a small late-year hiccup, the future could be prosperousfor the calendar year of 2011.

“All indicators continue to show the economy is improving,” saidBrumfield. “Definitely something to be pleased with, but mostimportantly is to remember when we are shopping to spend everydollar at home.”