Sales tax collections are not feeling the bite of coronavirus as the fiscal year draws to a close.

While there were fears collections would take a big hit during the pandemic, the opposite proved to be true. After a modest slump for a couple of months at the beginning of the pandemic, collections surged with three record-setting months to close fiscal 2019-2020. Throughout the year, eight months set new high marks for the city’s monthly sales tax diversion.

The fiscal year closes with a cumulative total of $6.582 million, rising 4.5 percent, or about $285,000, from the prior year.

The final diversion of the fiscal year, returned to the city about a week ago, was $558,994.31, rising 8.9 percent, or about $45,900, from a year earlier. Over the previous five years, the month’s total averaged about $516,400.

The diversion received in September reflects sales that occurred in local businesses in July. It was a rosy month across the region and the state, as well, with 11 other Northeast Mississippi municipalities posting gains, and collections statewide rising 9 percent.

The 2 percent tourism tax on restaurants and hotels, which has taken a hit during the pandemic, is beginning to stabilize.

For the latest month, also reflecting July sales, the tax generated $117,031.89, down by 4.4 percent, or about $5,500, from a year ago. Across the state, all special taxes collectively were down by 2.7 percent from a year ago.

Other sales tax results from the region:

n Booneville – $190,679.18 (+19 percent)

n Burnsville – $15,149.39 (+16 percent)

n Farmington – $5,760.04 (+13 percent)

n Glen – $4,662.28 (+18 percent)

n Iuka – $86,072.07 (+18 percent)

n Kossuth – $3,845.08 (+14 percent)

n Rienzi – $3,606.76 (+7 percent)

n Ripley – $142,310.49 (+18 percent)

n Tishomingo – $16,639.40 (+33 percent)

n Tupelo – $1,867,233.11 (+6 percent)

n Walnut – $28,158.92 (+34 percent)

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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