By Dennis Seid
After a pullback in December, shoppers in Northeast Mississippi opened their wallets and purses again in January.
For Tupelo, the region’s retail hub, January’s sales tax diversion was essentially flat from a year ago, but its year-to-date collections are off by only $6,000.
Meanwhile, Oxford collected $523,100 in January, up nearly 4 percent. For the year, collections are up nearly 7 percent.
The Mississippi Department of Revenue collects sales taxes from stores, restaurants, hotels and other businesses each month, and issues the diversions to cities a month later.
A snapshot of a dozen cities in Northeast Mississippi showed most saw increases in their sales tax diversions in January, and most year-to-date collections are higher than for the same period a year earlier.
Ripley saw collections increase about $7,800 from a year ago – a 9 percent improvement – and closed its year-to-date collections gap.
Corinth saw collections rise nearly 1 percent, but for the year, its coffers are nearly 4 percent higher.
Saltillo, however, posted another decrease compared to a year earlier. For the year, it has collected almost $420,000, but that figure trails last year’s figure by about $65,000.
Starkville, like its university-town counterpart in Oxford, also saw more spending in January. Collections were 1.5 percent more in January, and for the year, the figure is more than 4 percent higher.
Statewide collections in January totaled $29.9 million, up about $300,000 compared to a year earlier. For the fiscal year, collections total $269.92 million, about 3 percent higher for the same period a year ago.