Compared to last year, the City of Wiggins has seen a small increase in sales tax diversions paid to it in May by the Mississippi Department of Revenue for sales taxes collected within the city limits for March 2019.

The City received $162,293.57, which is $3,520.22 more than last year.

According to a recent study released by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, at the end of FY2018 total retail sales in the city amounted to $162 million. Included in the total sales are construction sales of $1.5 million, manufacturing sales of $2.4 million, wholesale trade sales of $3.9 million, retail trade sales of $120.7 million, real estate sales, rental and leasing of $879,584, professional service sales of $54,169, arts, entertainment and recreation sales of $149,896, accommodations and food services sales of $17.7 million, and other service sales of $4.5 million.

Using a formula containing sales and population, the study calculated that the City of Wiggins has a Retail Pull of 2.59, suggesting that businesses within the city are attracting customers from outside the city’s geographic boundaries.

“This is an indicator that additional retail growth here can be successful,” said Betsy Rowell, executive director of the Stone County Economic Development Partnership.

“Understanding the data and market analysis that drives the retail community helps position decision makers to make the best use of the existing resources of infrastructure and technology,” said Rowell. “Bottom line, we are open for business in Wiggins and Stone County and poised to take advantage of these positive indicators.”

The MSU Extension Service study also revealed that with actual sales of $188.97 million and potential sales of $282.79 million, the county has a $93.8 million leakage in retail trade dollars, indicating that nearly half of potential retail dollars are being spent outside Stone County.

Potential sales, according to the study, is an estimate of the level of retail sales for the fiscal year, that the county could expect from its residents if those residents purchased retail goods and services in the county at the same rate as the average resident of the state.

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