Those spending money in Starkville in 2010 helped give the city its highest yearly sales tax revenue to date and showing a 3.66 percent increase over 2009.
The figures – released Thursday – show that Starkville received $5,317,568.11 in sales tax for 2010, bolstered by record December receipts of $499,231.46.
Mayor Parker Wiseman says the increase over the previous year is the highest gain the community has experienced since 2008 – “obviously a good sign for our local economy and a result of an improving national economy.”
He said “I hope as the national economy continues to improve our local economy will continue to show the strength (it) has shown in recent months.”
Wiseman added: “This is a growing community. Population growth certainly accounts for some growth in consumer purchases that we’re seeing and also certainly the national economy rebounding helps us locally and instills consumer confidence and puts more money in our local economy.”
Census figures released earlier this month show Starkville is now the largest city in the Golden Triangle, passing Columbus by 244 residents to hit a mark of 23,888 and become the 15th largest city in Mississippi. Starkville gained 8.4 percent over 2000’s figure of 21,869.
The mayor also said of the sales tax figures: “This is very good news. We’re excited about what this says about the direction of the community. Obviously it helps us in city government as well. One of the major sources of revenue that city government depends upon is sales tax revenue.”
The city’s 2 percent restaurant tax reached a peak of $1,388,189.86, showing a 5 percent increase over last year’s $1,322,076.79. In 2009, the tax source grew by 2.28 percent.
This particular tax is smaller overall “but it tells you how a segment of your business community is performing. ... By all accounts last year was one of the toughest years in the national economy that we’ve had in some time and we doubled the growth that we saw last year, this year,” Wiseman said. “On balance it shows this is an economy that’s gaining steam.”