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City enjoys sales tax collection surge

     Brookhaven’s sales tax figures for Maycontinued a recent trend of growth, posting an increase ofapproximately $10,000 from May of last year and putting up thehighest numbers of the fiscal year so far.

    “The numbers have been steadily increasing,” said Cliff Brumfield,Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Executive VicePresident. “We have seen slow but steady improvement.”

    According to Mississippi Department of Revenue, the total sales taxrevenue for May 2011 was $445,878.68. The May 2010 totals were$434,540.97.

    Among state fiscal year comparisons, Brookhaven’s July 1 to datesales tax collection stands at nearly $4.6 million, up from 2010’sJuly 1 to date total of almost $4.5 million.

    According to Brumfield, the increase in sales tax is not directlyrelated to any single business or industry.

    “Sales are up in all sectors, across the board,” Brumfieldsaid.

    Mayor Les Bumgarner maintains a list that compares Brookhaven’ssales tax revenue with that of Mississippi cities comparable insize.

    Out of a list of 21, Brookhaven ranked seventh, its highest rankingof the fiscal year. Bumgarner said that Brookhaven usually falls at10th or 11th place on the list.

    “We beat out Natchez for the first time this year and McComb forthe second time this year,” Bumgarner said.

    Brumfield echoed Bumgarner as to Brookhaven’s regionalposition.

    “We are leading this area of the state,” Brumfield said.

    Outside the region Brookhaven also showed strength.

    Bumgarner reported that Brookhaven’s numbers have been higher thanClinton’s for all seven months of the fiscal year. In that periodBrookhaven has also beaten Brandon six times and Madison four timesin sales tax revenue.

    Brookhaven’s May numbers ranked the city 21st in sales tax revenueout of all cities in the state.

    Brumfield is optimistic concerning the continuance of an upwardtrend, but retained some caution.

    “Those numbers are from sales in April. May might show a differentstory,” Brumfield said. “Usually this time of the year we have amonth where the market retracts. I anticipate that happening inMay. Hopefully May’s numbers should remain stronger than May oflast year, though.”

    Brumfield said that his communication with area retailers indicatesthat local sales have slowed down a little.

    Brumfield said that sales tax numbers reflect a constant up anddown cycle. He praised the work of local businesses and theirefforts to strengthen Brookhaven’s economy.

    “A lot of hard work on the part of these businesses has madeBrookhaven a location for destination shopping,” Brumfieldsaid.