By Carlie Kollath Wells/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau posted a profit of more than $500,000 for the fiscal year that wrapped up Sunday.
Kim Hanna, Tupelo city clerk, on Monday told the CVB board it had $583,575 more in revenue than in expenses. The money was put into the CVB’s savings fund.
“We had a great year,” Hanna said.
The numbers are especially good, Hanna said, because the CVB’s annual budget called for it to dip into savings to cover some expenses.
Hanna said the numbers aren’t final because the CVB still has some more bills that will come in.
The vast majority of the CVB’s revenue comes from a 2 percent tax on hotels, motels and restaurants in Tupelo.
For fiscal 2012, which ended Sept. 30, the tax generated $3,705,073. The figure is 8.21 percent more than the prior year’s results.
The 2012 fiscal year wrapped up with a 0.56 percent increase in revenue in July compared with July 2011. Both came in above the new benchmark of $300,000. The figures are delayed two months and represent tax collected from sales made in July.
Neal McCoy, executive director of the Tupelo CVB, said the increase is part of an upward trend since the country’s recession. In fiscal years 2007 and 2008, tourism tax revenue grew more than 7 percent. The figure dropped to 1.19 percent in fiscal 2009. It grew slightly to 2.82 percent the next year and bumped up a little more in FY11 to 5.8 percent.
“We’re not seeing many CVBs having an 8.21 percent increase,” McCoy said. “I think the trend is going to continue.”