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Sales tax receipts continue upswing

The latest sales tax report indicates a continuing trend of upward sales in Brookhaven.

The Department of Revenue’s December data, which records taxes collected on November retail activity, reported more than $428,000 of sales tax revenue was collected during the month.

That’s a healthy increase from the November sales of 2011, which yielded about $397,000 in revenue.

“We were very pleased with that,” said Mayor Les Bumgarner about the hike in the numbers.

The mayor pointed out the latest sales tax report is significant because it includes Black Friday sales.

“Everyone had strong Thanksgiving sales,” Bumgarner said.

Kay Burton, program director at the local chamber of commerce, also pointed out another big retail event in November, the Christmas Open House.

“That’s a huge event every year but the reports I heard, it was the biggest year ever,” Burton said.

The Christmas Open House usually takes places early in November and allows local retailers to launch the holiday shopping season.

Now city leaders only await the official numbers for December shopping in order to evaluate Brookhaven’s 2012 holiday shopping totals.

For the majority of 2012, the city has seen each month outperform that month from the year before.

“I think that’s a good indication that the economy’s coming back and we’re growing with it,” Bumgarner said. “We’ll take a strong steady upward movement.”

Further, the mayor’s said the consistency of the sales tax revenue has been a positive and is preferable to large swings up and down.

Consistency allows the city to better project the revenue it can anticipate.

Since July 1 of this year, the city has collected about $2.5 million in sales tax revenue, and is running about $60,000 ahead of the July 1 to date totals given in the Dec. 2011 report.

McComb also collected about the same amount, with nearly $429,000 of revenue. That was a drop for McComb though, falling about $7,000 from the year before.

Natchez outperformed both Brookhaven and McComb, earning $441,000 of sales tax revenue during the collection period. Natchez bested its performance from last year by about $13,000.

Smaller regional neighbors including Monticello and Wesson saw some improvements in their numbers.