City sales, gaming tax revenue up

Published 1:39 pm Tuesday, May 18, 2021

State sales tax disbursements to Vicksburg for May showed an increase over the same period in fiscal year 2020.

According to information from the city’s finance department, the state’s May fiscal 2021 disbursement was $795,267, about 18.29 percent, or $122,971 more than the $672,296 received in May 2020. Year-to-date, the city has received $3.92 million compared with $3.83 million in fiscal 2020 — an increase of about 2.3 percent, or $88,831, over the previous year.

“That means we’re staying home, we’re shopping home and we’re patronizing ourselves first,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said. “That is phenomenal.”

Vicksburg receives 18.5 percent of the state’s 7-percent sales tax collected by businesses inside the city limits. Sales tax disbursements to the city run two months behind, so the money received in May is for sales tax collected in March.

As the city completes the first half of the fiscal year, collections for four of the first six months of fiscal 2021 — October, December, January and March — exceeded the amount for the same periods in 2020.

Two months, November and February, were lower than the same period in 2020.

Flaggs said the May disbursement from the city’s special 2 percent totaled $234,927, or 26.17 percent more than the $186,198 disbursement for the same period in 2020.

The city receives all the revenue from the 2 percent tax, which is collected on food and beverage sales and hotel room rentals to fund the Sports Force Parks on the Mississippi complex.

The May disbursement marked the first time a monthly disbursement for fiscal 2021 was more than the same period in fiscal 2020.

Year to date, the total amount of the 2 percent sales tax collected so far in fiscal 2021 remained below fiscal 2020 by about 4 percent with $1.14 million collected by May 2020 as opposed to $1.09 collected in the same period for fiscal 2021.

Besides sale tax revenue, income from gaming taxes and fees to the city, which account for 15 percent of the city’s revenues, were up with April’s gaming tax disbursement totaling $870,193; $684,933, or 369 percent more than the $185,260 collected for the same period in April

As of April, the last month the city received a disbursement, the year-to-date numbers showed Vicksburg received $3.46 million in revenue so far for 2021 compared with $2.77 million in fiscal 2020, a difference of about $691,866 or 24.91 percent.

“I’ve never seen this since I’ve been here,” Flaggs said, referring to the gaming numbers. “That means that the COVID (precautions) and everything we’ve done in our local economy is working. Everything we’re doing here on this board is working. We are allowing people to move around and do things in this city like no other city.

“This board ought to be applauded for this,” he said. “Everything’s working.”

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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