By Alyssa Schnugg
With many restaurants closed during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic and fewer people visiting Oxford and staying in hotel rooms, it’s no surprise that Oxford’s tourism taxes are down from last year.
However, a rise in sales taxes shows that even a pandemic won’t stop local residents from shopping.
According to the Mississippi Department of Revenue, Oxford’s hotels and motels took a hard hit this year. During the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the hotel/motel tax brought in $447,380. This year, hotels and motels brought in $294,178.
The fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.
The 2% food and beverage tax faired a bit better since residents continued to order food even when restaurants’ dining rooms were closed but offered curbside and delivery options.
In 2018-2019, the 2% tax brought in $3,397,834. This year, $2,890,519 – a 15% decrease.
However, the overall sales taxes are up in Oxford from last year.
In October 2019, the city took in $783,644 in sales tax. This October, the city earned $878,688.
Since July, the city has taken in 3,277,165, up from 3,148,953 from July-October in 2019.