May 20, 2014 10:40:16 AM
All three Golden Triangle cities saw significant sales tax revenue increases in March.
The latest reports from the Mississippi Department of Revenue show Columbus received $791,876.52 this month from what city retailers collected in March, a $10,252 increase from a year ago.
Starkville saw the biggest dollar increase of the three cities with a revenue return of $520,684.71. That's $29,139 more than the city received in May 2013 from taxes collected in March 2013.
West Point saw the largest percentage gains. The city received $201,939.60 this month from what its businesses collected in March. It received $181,017.80 last May. That's a $20,921 difference.
What each municipality has received from July 1, 2013 to date shows the improvement was not limited to this month. MDR has diverted $7,175,253.90 from collections to Columbus since then. At this point last year, the city had received $7,155,607.38, a $19,646.52 difference.
Starkville, again, has enjoyed the biggest dollar jump of the three cities during that time. The $4,916,944.77 it has received since July 1 is $182,980.48 more than the $4,733,964.29 that made made it to the city's coffers over that same period last year.
West Point has received $1,434,397.23 since July 1. That's a $38,930 improvement over last year.
Columbus' two percent restaurant tax collection saw an even bigger increase than the city sales tax. The Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau collected $147,939.16 this month from what restaurants brought in two months ago, a $14,786.29 improvement from the $133,152.87 it received last May. The city's motel tax return was down slightly from $20,362.18 received last May to $17,169.11 this month.
West Point tourism tax revenues improved $2,214.60 over last May's check. The city received $19,668.36 this month from business conducted in March. Last May's check was $17,453.76.
All numbers reflect taxes that were paid to the city by MDR this month. The taxes were collected by city retailers in March. Retailers reported and paid the taxes to MDR in April. Of what is collected, 18.5 percent goes back to city governments.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
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