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Brookhaven sales tax revenues climbing

After a slight dip in February, Brookhaven’s receipts of sales tax diversions began to climb again in March.

April numbers, released this month from the Mississippi Department of Revenue, continued that trend.

Tax diversions received — the amount the city receives out of taxes collected — for April 2016 were $508,813.10. April 2017 brought in nearly $10,000 more, for a total of $518,675.26.

The total for the fiscal year to date, since July 1, is $4.8 million. That’s an increase of more than $114,000 over the same measure in the previous year.

Statewide, sales tax contributes 36.2 percent of revenue collected from any sort of taxes. For 2016, this translated into $1.955 billion.

Sales tax revenue is collected in Brookhaven by Lincoln County Tax Collector Blake Pickering. Taxes are then paid to the state Department of Revenue from Pickering’s office. When diversions are paid from MDR, they are sent to the office of City Clerk Mike Jinks.

Once received, the funds are deposited directly into the general fund revenue account, under the line item title of sales tax, according to Deputy City Clerk Samantha Melancon. “People should understand that tourism tax comes in separately,” said Melancon, “and that is deposited into the general fund separately, under a line item [for tourism tax], also.”

Of the seven percent sales tax collected by retailers in Brookhaven, 18 percent comes back to the city, Melancon said.

Sales tax has a three-month cycle. The tax is collected by the retailer during month one, and reported and paid to the Mississippi Department of Revenue during month two. Month three is when the sales tax diversion is paid by the MDR to the cities.

This means that the amount labeled as “April” shows the tax collected in the previous month of March, for which the cities receive checks in May.