Sales tax up 8% as holidays approach
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 1:00 AM
Philadelphia saw a 8 percent or $23,784 increase in sales tax collections during August, a trend the mayor hopes will continue through the holidays.
"I want to commend our business owners and citizens for shopping and doing business in town," Mayor James A. Young said. "I hope everyone will shop as much as they can at home during the holidays. Higher sales tax collections have a great impact on our city's budget."
Sales tax collections make up more than half of the city's revenue stream, which funds such operations as police, fire and street departments, among others.
Philadelphia reported $317,541 in sales tax collections for August, up from the $293,757 for the same month in 2012.
Fiscal year to-date, the city has seen a 5.6 percent increase in sales tax or $53,756.
Young said the city has experienced growth in both retail and restaurants this year. The city will start to see its sales tax diversions from new liquor stores before the end of the year.
The state's sales tax collections have a three-month cycle. Tax is collected by the retailer one month; it is reported and paid to the state Tax Commission by the retailer the second month; and the diversion is paid to the cities by the Tax Commission the third month.
Young said the other new business prospects were looking at Philadelphia.
"We have other entrepreneurs trying to come into town," Young said. "I think the atmosphere is genuine for new business. We've had our struggles but I think we have a quality base of businesses. We want to continue this by being as helpful and as progressive as we can be."
Young said business prospects continue to look at locating along Mississippi 16 west including one restaurant.
"At least one is trying to get some financing together, so a lot of good things are happening. I'm glad to live in Philadelphia and I want to be a part of all the positive things that are going to take place over the next few years," he said.
Philadelphia's tourism tax was up an additional $2,289 in August and $8,785 for the year.
Philadelphia collects an additional 3 percent tax on hotel rooms. Those monies are used to promote tourism. The following figures reflect August taxes collected in surrounding areas/cities with 2012 figures in parenthesis:
Canton: $215,010 ($218,875).
Carthage: $131,105 ($129,275).
DeKalb: $20,664 ($20,101).
Flowood: $815,548 ($832,661).
Forest: $189,698 ($170,737).
Louisville: $148,656 ($140,911).
Madison: $517,433 ($473,341).
Meridian: $1,275,179 ($1,190,432).
Union: $30,578 ($31,634).