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September sales tax diversions down slightly

The sales tax diversions for September in Brookhaven were $471,437.49, down only slightly from the $476,095.49 in August. But compared to September of last year, the month’s diversions are down $28,799.12, representing a 4.83 percent drop from last year.

Garrick Combs, Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce executive director,  said there was nothing immediately concerning about the drop, and it didn’t necessarily represent a long-term downward trend.

“We still see quite a lot of ribbon cuttings and commercial construction,” Combs said. “I think everything is good, healthy activity. As far as a large downward trend, we haven’t seen any evidence that would be the case.”

Combs wasn’t sure exactly what caused the drop, but noted that the sale of automobiles — which represent a large portion of sales tax revenue — has been down nationally.

Gross sales in Brookhaven were $85,658,929 for September, up 3.82 percent from August and down 1.83 percent from September, 2015, where gross sales were $87,258,548. Gross sales for the county were $17,450,321, which also represent a $390,836 drop from the $17,841,157 in gross sales for September, 2015.

Sales tax has a three-month cycle. Month one is when the tax is collected by the retailer. Month two is when the tax is reported/paid to the DOR by the retailer, and month three is when the sales tax diversion is paid by the DOR to cities. This means the number labeled September reflects the sales tax collected in August of that year, which the city actually receives a check for in October.