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City sales tax collections continue strong growth

Vicksburg’s sales tax figures for January increased by more than $42,000 over collections for same the period in fiscal 2020.

Overall, state sales tax reimbursements to Vicksburg for the first four months of the 2021 fiscal year totaled $2.60 million; $51,563 more than the $2.55 million for the  same period in fiscal 2020

January was one of three months at the start of the 2021 fiscal year to exceed the previous year’s total. The 2021 fiscal year began Oct. 1.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. attributed the high numbers to people shopping locally, adding, “I commend the citizens of Vicksburg for putting Vicksburg first and in their spending priorities.”

“We’re coming back and I believe we made the right decision opening up the city,” he said. “I think every decision we made concerning pre-COVID and post-COVID is in the right direction.”

The lone month below the previous year’s total was November, with $628,479.94; a decrease of $18,468 from the previous year’s reimbursement of $646,948.19 received in FY2020.

The state reimburses Vicksburg 18.5 percent of all sales taxes collected inside the city limits. The reimbursements run two months behind, so the January reimbursement was received in March.

January’s sales tax reimbursement from the state totaled $602,162, up $42,277 over the $559,885 the city received in 2020.

The months of October and December also exceeded amounts from the previous year with the state reimbursement for October totaling $638,945, or $13,177 more than the $625,768 collected in fiscal 2020. December’s reimbursement was $733,948 or $14,578 over the $719,370 received in fiscal 2020.

While the city’s sales tax reimbursements were up, collections from the city’s special 2 percent sales tax on food and beverage sales and hotel room rentals to fund Sports Force Parks on the Mississippi were down a total of $708,834 in the first four months of fiscal 2021, which was $55,596 below the $764,430 collected during the same period in fiscal 2020.

These declines are due in part to lower than normal occupancy rates at hotel rooms and the continued rebound in business for local restaurants and eateries as the local tourism industry has lagged during the pandemic.

A total of $191,557 was collected in October, down $8,362 from the $99,919 collected the previous year.

November’s collections were $170,757, down $20,190 from $190,947 collected the previous year.

December and January collections were also down, with December revenues coming in at $173,771, or $15,115 less than the $188,886 collected for the same period in fiscal 2020. January’s collections totaled $172,749, or $11,929 below the $184,678 collected in 2020.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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