City sales tax revenue sees growth

Starkville’s sales tax collections for the first five months of 2010 are more than $120,000 above what was collected for the same period in 2009, according to the latest figures reported by the Mississippi Tax Commission.
City officials received the latest tax figures this week. It takes two months for the Tax Commission to process the revenue and report the figures to municipalities.
For May, Starkville businesses collected $423,737.02 as compared to $387,521.75 for May 2009. For the first 5 months of 2010, the city has seen $2,191, 571.16 in sales tax collected as compared to the $2,070,963.63 collected for the same period in 2009 — an increase of $120,607.53.
“Given now that we’ve got five months of collections on the year, this is indeed positive,” said Mayor Parker Wiseman on Friday.
Each of the first five months of 2010 saw increases in sales tax collection as compared to the same months in 2009 with the
exception of February of this year, which was down a little over $2,000 in collections as compared to February 2010.
The sales tax collections from January to May saw a monthly average of $438,314.23, while tax collections for all of 2009 saw a monthly average of $427,479.76.
“All but one month so far has shown positive growth, and that down month was a very slight drop,” said Wiseman.
Since roughly 40 percent of Starkville’s municipal government budget revenue is derived from sales tax collections, the increases could bode well as city leaders plan for the 2010-2011 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, Wiseman said.
“It could give us a small amount of cushion, but we’re not talking about a huge number,” said Wiseman. “The bigger aspect to look at here is at the performance of our local economy. The fact that sales tax collections are noticeably up is a very positive sign for our community.”
“After 5 months, we can definitely see a trend, and it’s one we hope continues,” Wiseman added.
Revenues from the 2 percent restaurant and hotel tax have also held steady and have seen incremental growth for the first five months.
The 2 percent tax revenues from January to May 2010 total $590,859.34, as compared to the $432,858.67 collected for the same period for 2009. The first five months of 2010 have seen a monthly average of $118,171.887 in 2 percent tax collections. For 2009, the monthly average was $110,173.07.
The 2 percent tax revenues are split among the Starkville Convention and Visitors Bureau (15 percent), the Starkville Parks and Recreation Department (40 percent), the city (10 percent), the Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority (15 percent) and Mississippi State University (20 percent).
The CVB and EDA are both member agencies of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership.