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Poplarville sales tax collections appear to be holding steady

Sales tax revenue collected by Poplarville retailers in February was down from 2019, but up in March, according to numbers from the Mississippi Department of Revenue. The increase in Poplarville’s sales tax revenue comes even as cities statewide are receiving less in sales tax revenue.

The sales tax revenue collected by Poplarville retailers in February, which was received by the city in April, was $74,086, down from $75,475 in 2019. However, sales tax revenue collected by retailers in March was $93,116, compared to $90,338 for the same month in 2019. Sales tax diversions for March will be paid to municipalities in May.

Statewide, $37.8 million in sales tax revenue collected by retailers in March will be diverted to cities, down from $40.6 million in 2019.

Although sales tax revenue collected in February was down from the previous year, it was not the largest decrease in Poplarville’s sales tax revenue during the current fiscal year. The biggest decrease for Poplarville was sales tax revenue collected in November 2019, received by the city in January, which was $70,644, down from $76,308 in November 2018.
Still city officials are preparing for potential decreases in revenue over the coming months due to retail closures enacted as part of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“No budget adjustments have been required yet, but we are making very conservative decisions moving forward, as various sources of revenue may decrease due to the prolonged pandemic,” said City Clerk Jane O’Neal.

The city has been fortunate not to have a large decrease yet, said Mayor Rossie Creel, but since other cities are hurting across the state Creel expects Poplarville may see decreases in sales tax revenue too. The majority of the city’s revenue comes from sales tax, said Creel.

The possibility that gas severance tax will decrease is also something that concerns Creel.

“I think we’re probably going to hurt some in the gas severance tax, because there’s not as much fuel being bought because people aren’t moving around yet,” said Creel.

Gas severance tax is used by the city to pay back bonds used for street paving and drainage projects.