Retailer helps Vidalia sales taxes

Published 6:00 am Thursday, January 11, 2007

Sales tax revenues were up approximately $60,000 in Vidalia in November, while Natchez officials expect their numbers to be down.

The addition of a new Wal-Mart in Vidalia is certainly a factor in the changes, officials said.

Actual sales numbers from Wal-Mart in Natchez or Vidalia were not available.

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Vidalia’s November sales taxes were up $64,549 compared to the same time last year. November 2005 brought in $110,608 in sales taxes, while November 2006 brought in $175,157.

Concordia Parish Tax Collector Randy Temple said he was sure the city’s new store, which opened Nov. 8, impacted the numbers.

“Any time we have a major retailer open up, it always has a positive affect on the taxes collected,” Temple said.

He said he just received the sales tax tallies this week.

“The numbers are pretty glaring,” he said. “There’s been an increase (this year) over the past two years, no doubt about it.”

Because the store was only open three weeks out of the month, some of the sales taxes were probably from construction, Temple said.

“The numbers naturally include taxes from purchasing construction equipment plus the sales taxes,” he said.

Nov. 2004 — $100,687
Nov. 2005 — $110,608
Nov. 2006 — $175,157

Natchez sales tax numbers for November are not available yet, City Clerk Donnie Holloway said, but they will probably be slightly down from the previous year, he said.

“This year’s is going to be down,” Holloway said. “That was money coming in around (Hurricane) Katrina.”

As for the new Wal-Mart across the river, Holloway said he couldn’t predict its affect on Natchez’ sales taxes.

“You can’t really tell,” he said.

“Sales tax revenues will probably be down. But I think it’ll level out — I don’t think it’s going to stay that way.”