Sales Tax

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 28, 2008

Sales tax figures show dip

By Rupert Howell

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Sales tax money diverted back to the City of Batesville was down approximately 2.5% from the amount collected the previous September indicating a downward trend, although sliding less than the previous month, during a time of national economic stress.

The city’s most recent check was for $300,087, representing approximately 18 percent of the total amount of sales tax collected in September, reported to the State Tax Commission in October and paid to the City in November. Statewide figures indicate a one percent decrease.

On a brighter note, Batesville’s Tourism and Economic Development Tax was up 2.5 percent for the most recent reporting period at $73,438. That tax is a three percent tax on hotels, motels and restaurants. The reporting period is also a month ahead of the sales tax diversions with the current amount representing October collections.

The year-to-date total for the tourism tax is also up a healthy 5.12% according to State Tax Commission figures.

Year-to-date sales tax for Batesville shows a one percent decrease totalling $1,236,078 for Batesville’s share over the same period last year, beginning July 1 with the state’s fiscal year.

Cash-strapped Como showed another healthy gain in sales tax funds diverted to that city. The north Panola municipality received $19,777, a 34 percent increase over the previous year’s September collections. Year-to-date collections are also up with Como receiving $70,763 this fiscal year, up seven percent.

Other Panola County municipalities received diversions in the amount of and percentage of increase, -decrease as: Courtland, $1,552, -29%; Crenshaw, $3,713, -15%;  Crowder, $1,362, -29%; Pope,$2,308, 7%; Sardis, $24,465, -5%.

Other nearby municipalities received diversions of and percentage of increase/decrease representing retail sales as: Charleston, $27,582, -10; Clarksdale, $220928, 2%; Grenada, $306,048, -4%; Lambert, $2,832, -15%; Marks, $21,745, -6%; Oakland, $4,135, 1%; Oxford, $4520,283, -1%; Senatobia, $161,980, -15% and Water Valley, $40,900, 4%.

Sales tax diversion reports represent only the amount diverted back to municipalities, approximately 18 percent, and can be used as a barometer of retail sales activity.