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Coast cities have more money to spend after shopping and dining picked up in 2017

Black Friday shoppers at Edgewater Mall in 2017 helped boost the city’s sales tax revenue for 2017. Biloxi had a big boost in revenue last year while Gulfport continued by far to be have the highest tax revenue on the Coast.
Black Friday shoppers at Edgewater Mall in 2017 helped boost the city’s sales tax revenue for 2017. Biloxi had a big boost in revenue last year while Gulfport continued by far to be have the highest tax revenue on the Coast. meperez@sunherald.com File

People spent more money at Coast stores and restaurants last year despite concerns that online shopping is cutting into some of the profits of large brick and mortar stores.

South Mississippi’s 12 cities together collected $62.7 million from the state, up from $61.5 million in 2016.

That’s a 2 percent increase in the amount of sales tax collected by Coast cities, also known as diversions. The previous year, from 2015 to 2016, sales tax diversions rose 3 percent.

Gulfport showed it remains the sales tax powerhouse in South Mississippi. Gulfport’s sales tax diversion of $21.3 million last year was nearly as much as the other four Harrison County cities of Biloxi, D’Iberville, Long Beach and Pass Christian combined ($22.7 million).

Biloxi reported a good year, according to the numbers from Mississippi Department of Revenue and complied by the Sun Herald. The amount the city collected was up by $433,000 after a $366,000 increase in 2016.

Gulfport and D’Iberville, which have the most big box stores on the Coast, saw a slowdown in the rate of sales tax increase last year.

D’Iberville’s sales-tax diversion increased by $25,000 last year after a big jump of $604,000 from 2015 to 2016.

Gulfport’s diversion increased by $344,000 after a $473,000 increase from 2015 to 2016.

Mississippi shares 18.5 percent of the revenue received from the 7 percent sales tax with the cities where the money was spent. Every city saw increased revenue for 2017 except Gautier, which was down just $8,000.

Sales tax collected by city

2017

2016

2015

Bay St. Louis

$1,562,181

$1,477,305

$1,474,633

Biloxi

$12,477,904

$12,045,027

$11,678,746

D’Iberville

$7,402,334

$7,376,901

$6,772,920

Diamondhead

$580,142

$561,856

$537,233

Gautier

$2,246,566

$2,254,918

$2,194,971

Gulfport

$21,282,490

$20,938,836

$20,466,280

Long Beach

$1,427,677

$1,403,493

$1,352,521

Moss Point

$1,918,330

$1,817,528

$1,860,500

Ocean Springs

$4,995,754

$4,961,014

$4,939,404

Pascagoula

$4,996,828

$4,981,714

$5,261,658

Pass Christian

$1,364,586

$1,349,457

$1,200,028

Waveland

$2,418,058

$2,373,107

$2,310,750

Total

$62,672,850

$61,541,156

$60,049,644

Source: Mississippi Department of Revenue

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