Sales tax sees record collection

Glenn Parrish
Booneville Democrat

Any fears the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic would leave city services connected to a one percent sales tax in a bind have thus far been unfounded.

Actually the reverse has been true.

Coming off one of the strongest May collections ever, the June remission from State Treasurer Dennis Milligan’s office last week was a record setter as the tax took in $71,862.74.

The amount tops the previous record, set in February and fueled by annual Christmas shopping period, and was likely sparked by so-called panic buying and or federal stimulus check spending.

At a little less than $3,000 more than May collections the increase is 4.2 percent over the best May on record and one which beat May, 2019 by 7.3 percent.

June’s collection is $11,598.48, or 19.2 percent better than June of 2019.

At the midpoint of the year, the tax had pulled in an even $394,140, which is $40,206.94 — 11.4 percent — more than the same period of 2019, which the tax topped $700,000 for the year for the first time.

Nonetheless, topping that mark again is unlikely as the tax will expire at the end of September.

Because taxes collected in one month are remitted to the Department of Finance and Administration the following month, then distributed by Milligan’s office in the next month, the city will receive tax receipts in October from August and November from September but none in Decemberof this year and January, and February of 2021.

With the tax set to expire city officials set an April 14 special election seeking a sixth five-year term for collections but that election was postponed due to the pandemic and reset for Tuesday, June 9.

However, that election was scrubbed because there were not 60 days between the passage of the ordinance to reset the election and the election date.

When the council met on May 18, another ordinance was passed to set the election date for Aug. 11.