By David Howell
WATER VALLEY – Sales tax collected and diverted back to the City of Water Valley and Coffeeville during the state’s fiscal year, which ended June 30, each nudged up less than one percent, compared to the 2006-2007 fiscal year, according to figures from the Mississippi State Tax Commission.
The figures also indicate that Oakland sales tax decreased 2.3 percent during the same period. These figures mirror the statewide trend in which the total amount of sales tax diverted back to Mississippi municipalities increased a meager 2.7 percent. The state returns approximately 18 percent of the seven percent collected in sales tax to the municipalities in which they were paid. Sales tax collections are often used as a barometer of retail.
Proponents of legalizing the sale of beer in the county, which was changed after a December 11, 2007 referendum in the county, cited the possibility of increased sales tax revenues as a positive factor in allowing beer and light wine to be sold in the county.
All municipalities in surrounding counties reported increases, although most were very small. Reporting slight gains during the same time period was Bruce, up 5.65 percent, from $427,318 to $451,475.68; Calhoun City, up 4.5 percent, from $319,257 to $333,629; Batesville, up three-tenths of a percent, from $3,748,554 to $3,760,386; Grenada, up 2.26 percent from $3,854,523 to $3,941,591; Tupelo, up 2.04 percent, from $16,677,606 to $17,017,808; Charleston, up 6.22 percent, from $320,276 to $340,191.
Three nearby municipalities exceeded five percent growth. Oxford reported the biggest increase, up eight percent from $5,567,516 to $6,021,284; followed by Taylor, up 7.27 percent, from $18,318 to $19,718 and Charleston up 6.22 percent, from $320,276 to $340,191.