City’s sales tax staying strong

Published 6:00 pm Thursday, July 21, 2011

Brookhaven’s June sales tax revenue shows adrop-off, but the city’s total for the year remains stronger thanin the prior fiscal year.

    According to the June sales tax report from the MississippiDepartment of Revenue, which shows collections from May, sales taxrevenue totaled $436,256.53. That is $9,622.15 less than the totalreported in May and $405.48 less than June 2010’s figures.

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    The year-to-date total is $5,025,101.09, slightly more than June2010’s total of $4,915,434.23.

    “This was another outstanding month,” said Mayor Les Bumgarner whenhe shared the figures at Tuesday’s city board meeting.

    Brookhaven ranked 21st in the state overall. The city rankedseventh on a list the mayor keeps that compares Brookhaven tosimilarly sized cities around the state.

    “We tied Madison,” Bumgarner said. “We are grateful to our localbusinesses and to people who buy local.”

    In addition to the Madison tie, Brookhaven came out higher thanClinton, which posted June revenue of $354,287.81.

    Cities neighboring Brookhaven also showed lagging numbers. McCombcame in at $410,251.42 and Natchez at $408,800.11, both lower thanBrookhaven.

    June’s sales tax revenue did not surprise city economicleaders.

    “We were expecting these numbers to be down. We had heard from ourretailers that the numbers were not as high in May,” said CliffBrumfield, Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce executivevice president. “It’s not alarming. It’s part of the retailcycle.”

    Brumfield said that all retail sales – both large and small items -were down, but that according to the business owners he has spokenwith vigorous sales should be reflected again in upcomingreports.

    Regardless of June’s downturn, the city has put up strong numbersthrough the year, Brumfield said.

    “Holding around $450,000 a month is outstanding,” he said.

    Brumfield is optimistic monthly sales tax revenue could rise wellabove $450,000, but it would be a challenge.

    “It’s been a while since we were up to $500,000,” he said. “We’veonly been at that mark a very limited number of times.”

    Even if that does happen again any time soon, Brumfield isconfident with the city’s position.

    “We’re looking strong for the year and expect to stay that way,” hesaid.