City sees dip in July sales tax collections

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The July sales tax report shows acontinuation of a recent dip in Brookhaven’s numbers followingmonths of an upward looking trend.

    The July figures, which report sales tax totals from June, put thecity at $426,430.02 in collections, down more than $10,000 fromlast month.

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    Both the June and July reports are down from the May report of morethan $445,000 which was the highest number of the city’s fiscalyear.

    The July collection is also noticeably down from July of 2010,which saw $441,524.32 in revenue.

    City leaders remain satisfied with those numbers, despite thedip.

    “Any time we do over $400,000, that puts us in line with where weneed to be,” said Mayor Les Bumgarner.

    A summer retail lull is normal, explained Cliff Brumfield,Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce executive vicepresident.

    “A lot of folks slow down for a bit, take some time off as kids getout of school,” Brumfield said.

    Another summer factor is that people traveling or on vacation taketheir money and, hence, their sales tax, elsewhere, though the citycan reap some small benefits from summer travel, according toBrumfield.

    “We do enjoy a fair amount of sales in our retail shops with peoplebuying new clothes for trips, and fixing automobiles beforetravel,” Brumfield said.

    Other, non-summer specific economic factors were also in play.

    “Big ticket sales were not as strong as they have been in previousmonths,” Brumfield said.

    Overall, Brookhaven ranked 22nd among the state’s top sales taxcollectors.

    And Brookhaven performed comparably to regional cities. McCombcollected $428,325.73 and Natchez pulled in $421,732.93.

     Looking to similarly sized citiesacross the state, Brookhaven came in behind Clinton, with$329,653.18 in revenue and Madison with $437,415.75.

    The year-to-date totals on sales tax reports start over on July 1with the start of the state’s fiscal year. Therefore, Brookhaven’smonthly collections for July were the same at its year-to-datetotal.