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By NATHAN GREGORY
Starkvilleâ€™s sales tax and 2-percent restaurant tax figures for 2012 are on pace to eclipse 2011â€™s totals, according to the cityâ€™s latest revenue report.
Last November, sales tax revenues were $478,587.16, a 1.09 percent increase over November 2011â€™s $473,450.02 total. Restaurant tax collections for November, $132,857.74, were up $1,681.34 from Octoberâ€™s total of $131,176.40 but down 1.86 percent from November 2011â€™s $135,378.34 collection.
Through November 2012, a total of $5,111,093.79 in sales tax revenue has been collected, not including the restaurant tax. The city would only need to reach $340,080.25 in December to eclipse 2011â€™s total revenue of $5,451,174.03.
The restaurant tax for 2012 is also on pace to break 2011â€™s record total of $1,487,353.34. Through November, $1,391,660.31 in restaurant tax revenue has been generated, meaning only $95,693.04 would be needed in December to continue a 13-year trend of year-by-year growth in restaurant tax collection since 2000.
Monthly averages for 2012â€™s sales tax and restaurant tax are $464,644.89 and $126,514.57, respectively. The sales tax average is $10,380.39 higher than 2011â€™s $454,264.50, while the monthly average for restaurant tax collections is $126,514.57 is $2,568.46 above 2011â€™s $123,946.11.
Greater Starkville Development Partnership Chamber President Austin Shafer said heâ€™s encouraged by November 2012â€™s numbers and the yearâ€™s collection totals as a whole.
â€śFrom what I can see when talking to retailers in the community, a lot of people have really bought into shopping locally,â€ť Shafer said. â€śWe have so many wonderful stores that people arenâ€™t having to go other places to find what they need. All the small retailers tell us weâ€™ve had great local numbers. Weâ€™re happy and those are positive numbers all the way around.â€ť
Mayor Parker Wiseman said the last two months of the year bring the highest numbers due to Christmas shopping season, which makes November 2012â€™s numbers look even more encouraging.
â€śWeâ€™ll certainly hope to see a strong December number and finish out what has been a very good sales tax year well,â€ť Wiseman said.â€ť This year Starkville appears to be having an exceptional year in comparison with other area cities and thatâ€™s a great sign for the performance of our local economy.â€ť