If local sales tax collections are any indication, many government stimulus checks were quickly spent with local merchants.

It was like Christmas in May for the city when the latest sales tax diversion came down at the middle of the month. The sales tax result was the highest ever for the city, topping the $700,000 mark for the first time. It reflects sales activity that occurred during the month of March, when $1,400 stimulus payments began to appear in bank accounts.

“It surpasses any Christmas we’ve ever had,” City Clerk Vickie Roach told the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

The sales tax diversion, at $710,700.75, rose by a whopping 31 percent, or approximately $168,000, from a year earlier. It rose 27 percent compared to the average across the previous five years.

The city’s result was on par with the statewide trend, with collections up almost 30 percent across the state.

The fiscal year’s running total goes to $4,583,822.21, an increase of 8.3 percent, or about $349,600, from the prior year.

The 2 percent tourism tax on prepared food and lodging in Corinth benefited from the spending spree as well, generating $145,338 for the month, a 47 percent spike from the previous month. Special taxes across the state generally performed even better, collectively rising 55 percent for the month.

Other sales tax results from the region, as reported by the Mississippi Department of Revenue:

Booneville – $211,467.74 (+22 percent)

Burnsville – $15,661.72 (-7 percent)

Farmington – $6,639.67 (-1 percent)

Glen – $6,114.86 (+18 percent)

Iuka – $93,088.39 (+18 percent)

Kossuth – $6,091.07 (+47 percent)

Rienzi – $4,155.34 (-10 percent)

Ripley – $165,179.35 (+33 percent)

Tishomingo – $24,182.57 (+33 percent)

Tupelo – $2,319,709.24 (+41 percent)

Walnut – $27,234.10 (+15 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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