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Monthly sales tax earnings drop slightly

August 18, 2011

By STEVEN NALLEY
citybeat@bellsouth.net

Starkville sales tax revenues for June 2011 fell by 1.63 percent versus revenues for the same month in 2010, still outpacing June revenues for all other years dating back to 1999.
June 2011 revenues also ended a streak of sales tax revenue increases for five consecutive months of 2011. Revenue for 2011, so far, still outpaces that of 2010 by a $3,250.14 margin.
The city of Starkville’s report on sales taxes showed June 2011 revenues at $419,652.34, down 1.63 percent from $426.622.12 in June 2010. The 2011 figure for June was still ahead of all other previous figures for the month, beating 2009 by $3243.25, 2008 by $13,086.89 and 2007 by $20,074.37.
Revenues for February through May 2011 showed a pattern of consecutive increases averaging $11,986.91, topping out at $468,471.49 in May 2011. June brought that pattern to a stop, with revenues down by $48,819.15 or 10.42 percent compared to May 2011.
Historically, June has never been the least successful month of any year on the sales tax record, which dates back to 1999. It will not be the least successful month of 2011; that title currently belongs to January with $393,970.11 in revenue.
June has historically ranked among the bottom six months of each year for sales tax revenue, with exceptions in 2002 and 2003. Lynn Spruill, Starkville’s chief administrative officer, said it was impossible to say any given month is consistently an up or down month, because the percentage of increase or decrease for the same month year after year is in continual flux.
“For example, for August from ‘06 to ‘07, there was a 6.65 percent increase,” Spruill said. “From ‘07 to ‘08, there was a 20.80 percent increase. From ‘08 to ‘09, there was a 4.05 percent increase, but then, from ‘09 to ‘10, there was a 13.73 percent decrease. When you try to track them, the tracking is just not giving us a picture of what we can anticipate.”
It is more useful to track trends for full years, Spruill said, and by that measure, Starkville is continually earning more and more in sales tax revenue. The total sales tax revenue through June for 2011 is $2,621,443.42, ahead of the $2,618,193.28 total for January through June 2010 by $3,250.14, or 0.12 percent. The final total for sales tax revenues in 2010 was $5,317,568.11, the highest annual revenue dating back to 1999.
“We are actually a garden spot in the economy when you compare us to other areas in the state and in the South,” Spruill said. “I tend to be grateful that we’re showing an uptick, or at least in this economy, stability in our sales tax.”
The city’s 2 percent restaurant tax results show $109,684.88 in revenue for June 2011, up $1163.07 over May 2011 and up $3969.54 over June 2010. June 2011 still produced the second least restaurant revenue for the year so far, with only May 2011’s low of $108,521 beneath it.

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