October 23, 2013 10:04:24 AM
Data from the three Golden Triangle cities shows Starkville recorded its highest ever sales tax collection month while Columbus's collections were down slightly and West Point experienced a modest gain.
Starkville collected $585,941.73 in non-beverage, non-food and hotel tax. That's $85,642.16 more than August 2012's $500,299.57 and clearly bests the previous all-time monthly collection record of 530,504.69 set in December 2012's by $55,437.04. It marks the first month this year and only fourth month on record that the city's non-2 percent collection surpassed the $500,000 mark. January marks the start of the city's yearly tax totals. The total for this year so far is $3,825,405.37. That's a monthly average of $478,175.67. Last year's monthly average was $470,133.21.
October marks the start of yearly tax totals for Columbus, so the city begins the year down $12,203.47 from August 2012 in regular collections. The city collected $712,570.04 in August 2013 compared to $724,773.51 in August 2012.
West Point's August collection was $183,065.17. That's a $6,066.75 jump from the previous August and the highest monthly total so far this yearly collection period. May marks the start of that time in West Point. Through four months, the city has collected $706,900.66.
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.
Columbus' restaurant and motel tax collections were also down from the previous August, albeit slightly. The difference between August 2013's $117,697.86 and August 2012's $117,738.92 was $41.06 for restaurant collections.
Starkville's 2-percent collection in August was 147,215.80, the second highest monthly total experienced this year. West Point's 1-percent tourism tax total was $17,269.07, down $1,079.45 from August 2012.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
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