Retail Sales

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Retail finished year with sizeable jump

By Rupert Howell

Retail sales in Panola County made a considerable increase for the month December, although county-wide retail sales slid in November according to figures of the Mississippi Department of Revenue.

Fiscal year-to-date (July 1, through December)  retail sales rose 12 percent above last year according to figures that show a total retail sales of $223,110,044 in Panola County through the month of December, 2010. That figure is $24,283,301 above the amount spent in retail in 2009 during the same period in Panola County.

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The December increase is heightened as the previous month’s fiscal year-to-date comparison figure showed a four percent decrease in Panola County retail sales through November, indicating a year-to-date swing of 16 percent.

Mississippi municipalities rely on an approximate 18 percent share of the seven cent sales tax levied on retail purchases to help fund local government. The municipalities are reimbursed those funds two months after taxes are collected by retailers.

The City of Batesville’s disbursement indicated a four percent increase over November of 2009. The city received $299,389. Year-to-date figures indicated an increase of six percent compared to 2009 indicating the city has received $1,819,875 which is 3.3 percent below the “high water mark” of sales tax collections recorded in 2007.

Other Panola municipalities received disbursements with the amount of increase or decrease compared to November 2009 as follows: Como, $9,522, -31; Courtland, $667, -48; Crenshaw, $3,483, -8; Crowder, $1,400, 23; Pope, $2,614, 18 and Sardis, $24,400, -10.

Other nearby municipalities received disbursements in the amount of and percentage of increase or decrease as: Charleston, $27,335, 5; Clarksdale, $205,017, 1; Grenada, $311,724, 5; Lambert, $2,697, unchanged;  Marks, $17,131, -12; Oakland, $4,040, 4; Oxford, $481,211, -8; Senatobia, $144,799, -2; Sledge, $2,633, 97; Taylor, $1,715, -20 and Water Valley, $34,916, -8.

The City of Batesville’s Tourism and Economic Development Tax increased 20 percent for the most recent month, December, over last December totaling $91,015 and for the year it has increased 11 percent to $512,708 collected.

The tax is paid a month earlier than sales tax is reimbursed and generally reflects the upward or downward movement of the coming sales tax figures.

Also, the City of Sardis Tax on restaurants and hotels brought in a total of $8,022 for December totaling $52,723 for the year. It is also derived with an additional three percent tax on prepared food and bars as well as hotel and motel rooms. The tax was implemented approximately one year ago.