According to the latest numbers from the Mississippi Department of Revenue, sales tax diversions to local municipalities have increased from this time last year.
Local mayors contribute this to new businesses, traveling less, and spending more money close to home.
“Walnut has the new Love’s Travel Stop that opened in May,” said Mayor Vicki Skinner. “Hopefully, people are starting to shop at home.”
The August sales tax collections report showed Walnut with an over $7,100 increase from $21,019 in 2019 to $28,159 this year. Ripley saw an increase of nearly $40,200 from $120,133 in 2019 to 142,310 this year.
Ripley Mayor Chris Marsalis also thinks people are spending more close to home and traveling less.
“Grocery, liquor, and beer sales are way up, along with the attendant sales tax revenue,” said Marsalis. “The direct stimulus payments and extended unemployment benefits have put many people in a position of having more disposable income than a year ago, with arguably less to do with it besides eat, drink, and work on homestead improvements and quality of life upgrades.”
Marsalis notes that large-scale construction projects have proceeded at an accelerated pace in many areas.
“That type of activity brings benefit to localities where it’s occurring: local hires, local procurement of goods and materials, workers eating and lodging in town, etc.” continued Marsalis.
Snow Lake Shores was the only area town showing a decrease in the August report but not by much. The town collects few sales taxes on average.
To see how your town faired this July and August compared to 2019, see chart on this page.