| The City of Gulfport has invited several local residents to attend festivities commemorating the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Bob Shepard of Batesville is among those receiving an invitation from Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr and one of many who has spent time and effort assisting with the Gulf Coast’s recovery.
Shepard and his associates were some of the first to respond after the local equipment contractor received a call the day after Katrina stating, "I need some help."
After being personally involved assisting with his friends’ needs, he and his cohorts saw the need for basic life essentials and that led to five truckloads of items donated by citizens of Batesville and the surrounding area and many volunteers’ time.
A remembrance of the event, "Heroes of the Hurricane," was held Monday night on the steps of Gulfport City Hall.
This morning a sunrise service at Jones Park will be held to remember the lives of those lost to the hurricane and to reflect on the past 12 months as the coast observes the first anniversary of the worst natural disaster in our nation’s history.
| By Rupert Howell
The City of Batesville’s share of sales taxes diverted back to the city totalled $318,402 in July compared to $295,680 diverted back to the city in July of 2005, an increase of approximately eight percent.
A seven percent sales tax is paid on retail items with that money going to the State Tax Commission who then returns approximately 18 percent to the city in which the purchase was made.
That July total was up 7.7 percent over the amount received in July 2005. The state’s total sales tax collections were up 13 percent for the same period.
Batesville’s Tourism and Economic Development Tax mirrored the state’s increase also up 13 percent totalling $77,208 received in July compared to $68,206 received last July.
The tourism tax is a three percent sales tax levied on restaurants and hotel/motel rooms in addition to the seven percent sales tax.
Changes in income from sales tax in other Panola municipalities was mostly positive during July with those municipalities receiving July checks in the amount of and percentage of increase/decrease listed respectively:
Como, $15,698, 14 percent;
Courtland, $2,086, 50 percent;
Crenshaw, $3,519, 2 percent;
Crowder, $1,280, 0 percent;
Pope, $2,655, 34 percent and
Sardis, 24 percent.
Other municipalities in the trade area received the following listed amounts for July 2006 and 2005 respectively:
Charleston, $25,509 and $24,765;
Lambert, $3,616 and $3,254;
Marks, $25,022 and $23,379;
Oakland, $4,486 and $2,089;
Sledge, $1,602 and $1,742 and
Water Valley, $41,332 and $39,277.
Neighboring municipalities from each direction received sales tax income with the percentage change listed respectively:
Clarksdale, $237,008, -2 percent;
Grenada, $312,880, 3 percent;
Oxford, $431,409, 11 percent and
Senatobia, $167,195, 2 percent.
Income from sales tax and the percentage change can be used to determine trends in the retail trade from municipalities.
The seven percent sales tax is paid to the retailer who then pays that to the tax commission. Approximately 18 percent of the total is returned to the municipality in which it was collected and used to fund municipal services.