Sales steady in Houston

64F3_WEB_CJ_0613_mainstreet_2CHOUSTON – The City of Houston saw sale tax revenue at record numbers last year and is holding its own as the calendar year winds down.

“For whatever reason we had a banner year in 2011 and we look to be on course with similar numbers this year,” said Houston City Clerk, Bobby Sanderson. “When you are up against big numbers it is good to hold your own.”

Houston collected $83,839.71 in sales tax rebates from the state this month which was down slightly from $85,953 last year. November and December tend to be bigger months for sale tax revenue with the advent of the Christmas shopping season.

“Our sales are up and we have done well this month and this year,” said Kirkham Dendy, of Grocer’s Pride. “We have seen our sales tax check that we send to the state go up every year for the past 25 years. I am blessed with good customers and good community that does business with us.”

Dendy said people may not think of a grocery store as a retail outlet for holiday gifts.

“We have a lot of people who come by at Christmas and get gift cards to give employees or family and friends – you can always use a gift card from us,” said Dendy. “And of course we sell a lot of Christmas hams at this time of year as gifts.”

Dendy also pointed out people buy food as gifts at Easter, Fourth of July, birthdays and of course Thanksgiving.

Houston saw sales tax rebate revenue top $1 million last month.

Sale tax rebates are a good local indicator on what is happening economically in a town’s market since they are directly linked to retail sales in a community. Sales tax rebate dollars are also a key source of revenue used to fund city services.

The city’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. Sales tax rebates collected in any given month are reported the following month and checks sent to municipalities the next month.

Houston collected $967,971.06 in sales tax diversions in fiscal year 2010-11 compared to the most recent figure of $1,019,594.92 for fiscal year 2011-12. Houston is averaging $82,835.29 on a monthly basis so far this year.

Sales tax rebate dollars account for more than half of the city’s revenue budget with ad valorem taxes raising about $800,000.

“We rely on sales taxes to fund city services a lot,” said Sanderson. “People fuss about how high their taxes are but they would be a lot higher if folks didn’t shop in local stores.”

City school taxes are also figured into the tax bill of those living in the city limits.

All sales taxes figures are reported and rebates are paid by the Mississippi Department of Revenue.

 

Municipal sales tax rebates this month compared to similar month last year are:

City 2012 2011

Aberdeen $67,183 $66,523

Bruce $41,011 $38,431

Calhoun City $23,564 $24,938

Derma $5,022 $4,946

Eupora $33,927 $30,685

Houlka $7,643 $8,739

Okolona $23,258 $23,154

Vardaman $10,403 $9,438

Woodland $4,891 $4,684

 

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