Sales tax collections up during COVID

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Mayor James Young says shopping at home is the key to Philadelphia’s steady increase in state sales tax rebate dollars even during the coronavirus pandemic.

As Philadelphia’s state sales tax rebate numbers are up again for a third month, residents seem to be shopping closer to home during the pandemic keeping those dollars at home, officials said, 

According to the state Department of Revenue’s July report, Philadelphia received $403,625, which was an increase of $42,000 when compared to July 2019. Those numbers reflect June sales.

Carthage collected $30,000 more this year than last with a haul of $173,000. Louisville collected $21,000 more this year and Meridian saw an increase of $80,000.

Municipalities collect sales tax for the state and receive a portion back. While it is not absolute, the report is a general indicator of the local businesses climate. This report is based on the May diversions from sales taxes collected.

“Locally, our economy has stayed strong this year,” Young said. “If we can wade through this COVID-19 pandemic and the economy stays strong, we will be in good shape.

“July was great to see. That goes to show you that when we shop local, it makes a difference. Those (sales tax rebate) numbers reflect people shopping locally.”

Cities use the rebate money for day-to-day operations. At budget time, cities estimate what the sales tax will be throughout the year. Should revenues fall below the estimates, often cuts must be made to balance the budget by the end of the Municipal Fiscal Year on September 30.

Mississippi paid out $41,756,280 to municipalities in July 2020. This was up $3,636,018 when compared to July 2019.


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