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Sales tax revenue continues upward trend



Nathan Gregory



The Golden Triangle sales tax revenue uptick continues. 


For the fourth month in a row, revenue was up in Columbus, Starkville and West Point. 


Columbus' check from the Mississippi Department of Revenue this month was $722,512.39, nearly a $12,000 improvement from August 2013. This month's check reflects 18.5 percent of the city's 7 percent sales tax collected in June. 


The latest report adds up to $8,057,248 total through 11 months in the current fiscal year, which is on track to beat the $8,624,193 collected in 2012-13 handily. 


Columbus also observed increased restaurant traffic and lodging two months ago over last June. The city received $135,848 from its 2-percent food and beverage tax this month, which is $10,684 more than August 2013. Hotel tax returns were $22,469, a $1,139 improvement over last August. 


The 2-percent tax goes to the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau, while hotel revenues are used for maintenance of the Trotter Convention Center. 


Starkville returns this month were steady but slightly more than last August's. The $444,382 received was $2,079 more than 12 months ago. The 2 percent return also improved over the previous August, totaling $22,174, a $6,746 increase. 


Starkville marks its returns by the calendar year instead of the fiscal year. Through the six-month mark, the city has collected $2,889,436. 


West Point received $188,679.19, a $12,417.40 improvement over August 2013. Its tourism tax saw a substantial increase from $17,514 12 months ago to $28,063 this month. July marks the start of West Point returns. Through two months, the city is $65,370 ahead of where it was a year ago.


Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.



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