Consumers in South Mississippi did more of their Christmas shopping on Black Friday and cut back in December, according to the sales tax figures released Monday by the Mississippi Department of Revenue.
While sales tax diversions in South Mississippi were up 6 percent in November, they were down 4 percent in December compared to December 2013.
The 12 Coast cities will receive diversions of $5.25 million for December 2013, or $214,000 less than the $5.47 million in December 2012.
In December 2011, when Diamondhead was not yet getting a tax diversion, the 11 Coast cities had $5.08 million in sales tax diversions.
Gulfport saw the biggest year-over-year drop. The $1.8 million diversion from the state to the city is nearly $104,000 less than for last December.
The Department of Revenue's January report is for sales tax collected at stores, restaurants, hotels and other businesses in December.
D'Iberville's $645,000 diversion for December was the largest in the city's history, said Sharron Perkins, the city's chief financial officer. Part of the tax will be used to repay the tax increment financing bonds the city gave as incentives to pay for infrastructure at the shopping centers.
Biloxi's sales tax diversion was down $60,000 in December along with casino revenue. Ocean Springs will collect $57,000 less for December sales compared to 2012, while Bay St. Louis was down by $52,000, Bay St. Louis was down by $52,000 and Gautier was $23,000 lower, in part because Sears closed at the Singing River Mall.
Pascagoula had the biggest jump in sales tax revenue in December, up $40,000 from the prior year.