City’s year-end tax collection down $100K

Published 10:20 pm Monday, September 3, 2018

Local buyers have held their wallets a little tighter this year compared to last, causing the City of Brookhaven to close the books on the fiscal year down around $100,000 in tax revenue.

Sales tax diversion data from the Mississippi Department of Revenue shows the Ole Brook government’s share of taxes at the conclusion of Fiscal Year 2018 back on July 1 stood at $5.72 million, down $96,414 from the $5.81 million total reported on the same date in 2017. The just-ended fiscal year was off to a strong start around the holiday shopping season late last year, but a few months’ worth of misses along the way and a slow summer gave up too much money to match 2017.

While the winter and spring months were mixed with hits and misses, the recent summer months were responsible for half the damage. Though Brookhaven spenders sent $522,458 back to the city in July — a $9,300 increase over the same month last year — the June total of $452,429 was down more than $22,000 since 2017, and diversions for May were more than $28,000 lower from the previous year.

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Brookhaven wasn’t alone in losing ground, as other cities of comparable size — with populations in the range of 10,000 to 15,000 — around the state either finished the year with fewer dollars or recorded negligible gains.

McComb finished the fiscal year down almost $155,000, with its yearly diversion total dropping from $5.89 million to $5.73 million. Natchez also lost, with its year-end total of $5.27 million down around $174,000 from last year’s $5.44 million.

Up north, losing cities include Corinth, which came down $207,000 on the year to finish with $6.01 million; Greenwood, which dropped $33,000 to finish at $4.6 million; and Cleveland, which wound up $21,000 down for a final diversion total of $3.77 million.

Nearby Richland managed to collect an additional $74,000 during the fiscal year to close at $5.74 million, and Grenada added enough for a good used car — $12,000 over last year to finish at $4.47 million.

There were some big winners around the Magnolia State.

The City of Gulfport made the most progress over the previous fiscal year, closing out more than $799,000 to the good for a tax diversion total of $21.7 million. Olive Branch picked up an extra $616,000 to end it at $10.57 million, and Laurel added $519,000 to finish at $8.8 million. Flowood grabbed an additional $368,000 for a total of $11.96 million, and Madison ended at $8.39 million after taking in an additional $342,000.

The Village of Paden — population: 116, in the middle of Tishomingo County — is enjoying a windfall after closing the year out with $966.38 in tax diversions, an increase of $171.75 over last year.

There were losers, too.

Though the City of Jackson took in the most tax diversions in Mississippi, its nearly $29 million total was down more than $1 million from 2017. Meridian dropped more than $251,000 to wind up at $13.8 million, Greenville lost $243,000 to finish at $6 million and Biloxi came down $227,000 for a final of $12.3 million.

The little town of Sandersville — population: 731, just off I-59 in Jones County — took a crippling loss of 54 percent, with its take-in dropping more than $177,000 to finish at $212,004.

Statewide, an additional $3.15 million in tax diversions was taken in at the close of the fiscal year, with a final of $440 million. Tax diversions represent the amount collected on the 7 percent sales tax, meaning shoppers spent $6.28 billion between July 1, 2017, and 2018.