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Oxford’s sales tax collection down approximately 16 percent in March

The City of Oxford has begun to see the initial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic from a financial standpoint.

During the Board of Aldermen meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Robyn Tannehill stated Oxford’s sales tax collection for the month of March was down approximatley 16 percent from 2019. Oxford took in $706,637.20 this year, compared to $843,648.29 in March 2019.

The Mississippi Department of Revenue releases tax collection numbers two months after the fact, meaning Oxford received March’s numbers in May and will receive April’s numbers next month.

The City’s hotel/motel tax collection took the biggest hit, seeing a decrease of 47 percent compared to March of last year. This year, Oxford collected $23,377 compared to the $43,940 collected in 2019.

The second-largest drop was in the food and beverage tax, or stadium tax. The City saw a decrease of approximately 30 percent. In March, Oxford collected $218,806 compared to $317,716 collected in 2019.

“In March, we know we had a home Ole Miss baseball series and we had a lot of folks who were stocking up, also known as hoarding, for the predicted pandemic,” Tannehill said of March’s numbers. “There were folks in and out of town for spring breaks, so we will be very curious to see what our April numbers look like.”

Oxford was mostly running at full operation for most of March. The Board of Aldermen did not pass the first resolution, shutting down the City, until March 22.