Sales tax collections in Golden Triangle cities continue to outpace 2021 collections as well as budget projections for this fiscal year.
Columbus received $914,144 in sales tax diversions from the Mississippi Department of Revenue in December, up $43,726 from December 2021.
The city has also collected $2,865,320 this fiscal year — which began Oct.1 — compared to $2,567,113 collected by the same time last year, marking a 10.9-percent improvement. Despite the uptick, diversions were down $101,247 from November ($1,015,391).
Sales tax diversions run on a three-month window, where they are collected by retailers one month, sent to MDOR the next, and then dispersed to cities and counties the third. Therefore, December diversions generally reflect sales from October.
Mayor Keith Gaskin said he is proud to see the city continuing to receive more in sales tax diversions year-over-year and that he expects to see more revenue coming in as more economic interest builds within city limits.
“There’s a lot of interest in the city again, as far as business and retail is concerned,” Gaskin said. “I think, once you see completed works like at the Leigh Mall that the Hull Group is doing, I truly believe that our numbers are going to continue to go up.”
The Hull Group, which purchased the flagging mall property for $3.5 million via online auction in October 2019, has started renovations with the intent to convert it into a shopping center with outward facing stores.
The city’s 2-percent restaurant special tax also showed growth, bringing in $194,599, compared to $189,006 in December 2021. The city has received $566,332 so far this fiscal year, compared to $532,584 this time last year.
The 2-percent hotel/ motel tax brought in $41,767, compared to $38,661 in December 2021. Year to date, that tax has collected $116,176, compared to $99,876 this time last year.
Starkville received $727,522 in sales tax diversions this month, compared to $716,595 in December 2021.
The city’s fiscal year collections sit at $2,264,547, marking a 3.2-percent improvement from the same time in 2021 ($2,192,626). The city budgeted $9.3 million in sales tax revenue for its current fiscal year.
Mayor Lynn Spruill told The Dispatch she credits the success of the city’s sales tax growth to citizens participating in the city’s local attractions like its restaurants and other businesses.
“The city of Starkville and all of her residents and visitors love to eat because we have great places to eat,” Spruill said. “We are fortunate that we have as many wonderful restaurants as we do, and we continue to have people who are interested in being out in the community and enjoying our local fare.”
According to figures released with its sales tax numbers, the city has continued to see growth in its 3-percent restaurant sales tax diversions and 1-percent hotel tax as compared to last year.
The city received $387,592 in restaurant tax collections, a 5-percent increase from December 2021 ($368,586). The city has received $1,149,253 this fiscal year, compared to $1,076,683 in December 2021.
The hotel tax brought in $22,844, showing a 44-percent increase from December 2021 ($14,574). The city has received $64,858 this fiscal year, compared to $51,066 by December 2021.
West Point Received $255,168 in December, a 15.9-percent increase from the $217,380 it collected the same month last year.
As the city passes the halfway mark of its fiscal year — which began July 1 — it has received $1,439,636 in 2022 compared to $1,334,859 by this time in 2021, a 7.6 percent improvement.
It also marks the second straight monththe has exceeded its 2021 fiscal year collections, following a slow start to the fiscal year.
Mayor Rod Bobo did not respond to calls and messages made by The Dispatch by press time.
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