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Sales tax collections down $150K from last year


Nathan Gregory



A roller coaster year for sales tax collections in Columbus ended on a high note this month.  


The city collected $685,376.78 in non-food, beverage and hotel taxes in July, a $26,442.01 increase over $658,934.77 in July 2012. But all together, the city ended up with $152,187.55 less for 2012-13 than 2011-12.  


The total for this fiscal year amounted to $8,624,193.49. Last year's collections were $8,776,381.04. 


The Mississippi Department of Revenue collects 81.5 percent of the 7 percent sales tax from municipalities and distributes the remaining 18.5 percent back to the municipalities over a three-month cycle. September reports reflect July collections. 


There were only three months during the fiscal year -- October, July and September -- when collections were higher than the same month's during previous fiscal year. At one point, collections were down for eight consecutive months. 


September's distributions reflect the highest month-over-month increase experienced in 2012-13. 


The city's restaurant tax collection also increased. Columbus collected $123,370.42 in June, besting June 2012's collection by $2,189.29. 


Motel taxes saw a minimal decrease. The city reported $20,891.86 in hotel tax collections, a $52.38 decrease from this month last year. 




West Point numbers up 


West Point's September returns also saw an improvement. The city's July collections totaled $171,336.28, a $2,356.51 increase over $168,979.77 in 2012.  


May returns mark the start of West Point's yearly tax totals. Since then, the city has collected $523,735.49 from general collections. In all, the city collected $2.11 million in 2012.  


Tourism revenues declined $1,947.85 from last September, totaling $18,938.23. 




Yearly sales tax collections 


2012-13: $8,624,193.49 


2011-12: $8,776,381.04 



Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.



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