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Vicksburg’s June sales tax, gaming revenue up from 2020

Vicksburg’s sales tax revenue has exceeded collections from the 2020 fiscal year for the second month, according to information from the city’s accounting department.

The sales tax report includes revenue from the 7-percent state sales tax collected on the sale of all items sold in the city and the special 2-percent sales tax on food and beverages sold at restaurants and on hotel room rentals.

According to the report presented by Mayor George Flaggs Jr. at Friday’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, June state sales tax reimbursements to the city for the general sales tax totaled $751,080, about a 23.4 percent increase over the $608,550 received in 2020.

The report showed city revenue from gaming taxes is also up from 2020.

The reimbursement from the general sales tax totaled $795,267, about 18.29 percent over the 2020 total of $672,296.

Revenue from the 2-percent sales tax totaled $234,512, about a 58.24-percent increase over the $148,203 received in 2020. The revenue for March was $234,927, or about 28.17 percent more than the $186,572 received in 2020.

The state reimburses Vicksburg 18.5 percent of all 7 percent sales tax collected inside the city limits. The city receives all the revenue from the 2 percent tax. Sales tax reimbursements run two months behind, so the money received in June represents revenue from sales tax collections in April. The March reimbursement was received in May.

So far this fiscal year, the city has received $4.67 million in general sales tax revenue, which is 5.21 percent more than 2020, and $1.3 million in revenue from the 2-percent tax, or 3.21 percent over 2020.

Flaggs said March and April revenues from the 2-percent sales tax collection were “the largest we’ve ever seen” for the special tax.

He said the March reimbursement for the 7-percent sales tax “was the largest we’ve ever seen since 2014,” which is as far back as city records go. The reimbursement, he said, was the third-largest since 2014.

According to city records, March 2014 collections were $675,611, while April 2014 collections were $638,710.43.

Year-to-date, total gaming revenue totaled $4.11 million, or about $1.22 million more than the same period in 2020. Flaggs said April’s revenue of $870,193 was the largest gaming month ever, while May’s revenue of $641,315 was the second-highest since 2016.

“People are participating local, going to restaurants and hotels; the 2-percent speaks for itself,” Flaggs said after the meeting. “They’re staying in our hotels and they’re shopping in our restaurants.”

Concerning the 7-percent sales tax revenue, Flaggs said residents are buying at a high volume and shopping locally.

“We have encouraged our folks to shop locally, and that’s what’s going on and we hope it keeps going on,” he said. “People are beginning to understand that when we shop local, we begin to do better.”

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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