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By PAUL SIMS
Starkvilleâ€™s sales tax receipts â€“ recorded in February â€“ bounced back from a one-month slump in January and showed a gain over the same period last year.
The city took in $432,510.76, up nearly 2.91 percent â€“ or $12,247.12 â€“ over February 2010, when city officials received $420,263.64. This yearâ€™s figures for February are the best for the month dating back to 1989, the earliest year from which figures were available.
Januaryâ€™s receipts â€“ totaling $393,970.11 â€“ showed a dip of about 12.2 percent off of last yearâ€™s top figure for January of $448,787.31. To date last year, sales tax totaled $869,050.95. At this point this year, the receipts are at $826,480.87, off $42,570.08.
â€śItâ€™s hard to pin down why that month was slower than what weâ€™d become accustomed to seeing,â€ť Mayor Parker Wiseman said of January. â€śOne possible explanation is we had some snowfall in the month of January and that could have potentially slowed down local shopping. However, it appears to have been an isolated event because our February number is consistent with the recent growth trend weâ€™ve observed.â€ť
Local officials were upbeat about Februaryâ€™s figures.
â€śIâ€™m pleased with the sales tax report from February. It is consistent with the general positive trend in sales tax revenue that weâ€™ve been seeing for about the last year to 18 months now,â€ť Wiseman said. â€śOf course thatâ€™s helpful from a city revenue perspective and itâ€™s also a good sign for the performance of our local economy.â€ť
Jon Maynard, president and CEO of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership, said: â€śFebruary is historically a slow month for Starkville. The collections for this year are higher for February than they have ever been.â€ť
The cityâ€™s 2 percent restaurant tax receipts are higher year-to-date so far this year over 2010, though Februaryâ€™s numbers dropped off slightly over the same month last year.
To date, in 2011, the 2 percent tax receipts total $241,879.50, up $11,845.47 for the year over 2010. However, in February 2010, the city took in $122,355.39. This year, the tax take in this category for February was $120,743.41, down $1,611.98.
â€śThe 2 percent tax â€“ on average â€“ continues to perform quite well. You see some minor oscillations up and down from month to month, but again, the overall trend is very positive,â€ť Wiseman said.
Maynard noted the â€śsofter-than-normalâ€ť 2 percent collection in February, adding â€śwe hope to see some improvement in the latter months of spring and summer.â€ť