By NATHAN GREGORY
Starkville’s sales tax and 2-percent restaurant tax figures for 2012 are on pace to eclipse 2011’s totals, according to the city’s latest revenue report.
Last November, sales tax revenues were $478,587.16, a 1.09 percent increase over November 2011’s $473,450.02 total. Restaurant tax collections for November, $132,857.74, were up $1,681.34 from October’s total of $131,176.40 but down 1.86 percent from November 2011’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 2011’s total revenue of $5,451,174.03.
The restaurant tax for 2012 is also on pace to break 2011’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 2012’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 2011’s $454,264.50, while the monthly average for restaurant tax collections is $126,514.57 is $2,568.46 above 2011’s $123,946.11.
Greater Starkville Development Partnership Chamber President Austin Shafer said he’s encouraged by November 2012’s numbers and the year’s collection totals as a whole.
“From what I can see when talking to retailers in the community, a lot of people have really bought into shopping locally,” Shafer said. “We have so many wonderful stores that people aren’t having to go other places to find what they need. All the small retailers tell us we’ve had great local numbers. We’re happy and those are positive numbers all the way around.”
Mayor Parker Wiseman said the last two months of the year bring the highest numbers due to Christmas shopping season, which makes November 2012’s numbers look even more encouraging.
“We’ll certainly hope to see a strong December number and finish out what has been a very good sales tax year well,” Wiseman said.” This year Starkville appears to be having an exceptional year in comparison with other area cities and that’s a great sign for the performance of our local economy.”