Revenue chart

Revenue chart

(Photo courtesy of the Starkville Dispatch)

Carl Smith

Starkville’s June sales and 2 percent tax receipts eclipsed their 2015 marks after the city recorded a slight dip in returns for the month of May.

The city’s 2 percent returns on prepared meals and drink orders brought in about $151,121, a 10.71 percent increase compared to June 2015, while its overall sales tax receipts — $528,735.63 — jumped 5.41 percent in the same timeframe.

Starkville’s 2 percent hotel and motel tax continued its surging trend for the calendar year, recording a 24.25 percent increase between June 2015 and this June. In all, the tax brought in $24,001.79 for the month.

The June improvements after Starkville recorded a slight dip in both categories between May 2015 and May of this year.

Starkville recorded a 4.02 percent decline in overall sales taxes for May when compared to the previous year, and its 2 percent returns also declined 4.90 percent in the same period.

The food and beverage adjustment came after Starkville recorded 14.34 percent increase between May 2014 and May 2015, but the city’s May 2015 overall sales tax collection amount — $508,842.10 — reflected a 1.29 percent decline from its 2014 mark.

Mayor Parker Wiseman said he could not explain why May’s numbers, with Mississippi State University hosting a regional and super regional NCAA baseball series, were lower than 2015′s.

“It was a busy tourism month, but every so often there’s an inexplicable dip. I don’t know if it has to deal with collection methods by the Mississippi Department of Revenue or natural consumer spending cycles. It’s just an anomaly,” he said. “I look at quarter, six-month and year-long trends. All of those are still strong. If we have a dip that lingers two or three months, that’s when I start getting concerned. From time to time, we have these months that are simply outliers. There’s a cyclical nature that seems to be present in historic sales tax figures. Most of the time, it seems, several months of continued growth will be punctuated by a month of loss. I can’t explain it.”

May marked the first time in the calendar and the second time in the fiscal year Starkville experienced a decrease in overall sales tax receipts when compared to the previous year.

Returns from the food and beverage levy are split between the city’s parks and recreation department (40 percent), Mississippi State University student groups (20 percent), the Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority (15 percent) and the Starkville Convention and Visitors Bureau (15 percent).

The remaining 10 percent returns to the city’s coffers.


Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch