Sales tax up for year

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 14, 2004


&045; After being down slightly in August, sales tax collections in Natchez are up 3.17 percent overall for the fiscal year to date compared to the same period last year.

That’s especially important considering sales tax revenues make up about 42 percent of the city’s annual budget &045; and the city’s 2003-2004 budget had been drawn up with no sales tax revenue increase in mind.

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Why such an increase?

&uot;I think that this time last year, there was a lot of uncertainty with IP,&uot; said City Clerk Donnie Holloway, referring to the International Paper mill that finally closed in July after months of rumors.

&uot;In addition, you had the war in Iraq starting.&uot;

When there’s such uncertainty, people are bound to rein in spending until they know what’s going to happen, Holloway said, adding that &uot;now people are starting to have more confidence in the economy.&uot;

&uot;And I hope people shopped here in Natchez, because that’s keeping the money here,&uot; he said.

In October, when the state forwarded the city its share of August sales tax revenues, the amount was actually 0.01 percent less than revenues for August 2002 &045; $398,788 compared to $398,812.

In November, however, the city received $375,378 in September sales tax revenues compared to $363,750 for September 2002, or an increase of 3.2 percent.

October sales tax revenues, which were received in mid-December, amounted to $381,331 compared to $357,445 in October 2002, or a 6.68 percent increase.

Not only that, but food and lodging taxes &045; the &uot;Hamburger 2&uot; tax, specifically &045; have been up 2.05 percent for the fiscal year that started in October, or $66,316 versus $64,981 for the same period last year.