Madison and Ridgeland's sales tax revenue continues to increase despite heavy competition from Pearl, which is home to the newly-built $80 million Outlets of Mississippi that opened in November.

From July 1 to date, Madison has seen $4,727,112.08 or a 6 percent increase in sales tax collections, up from $4,445,240,46 reported from the same period a year ago.

Madison had constant increases over the past five months and Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler attributes that to strategic planning and staying on course.

"Madison's time has come," she said. "We focused first on building our city residential base and creating our own market.

"The rooftops are counted and the market is here," she continued. "That is growth that will sustain itself."

From July 1 to date, Ridgeland has seen $9,507,223.67 or a 5.7 percent increase in sales tax collections, up from $8,988,650,06 reported from the same period a year ago.

Ridgeland had increases in four of the last five months compared to the same period a year ago. However, in January, collections were down approximately $75,000.

Mayor Gene McGee said the city continues to see steady growth in collections each year. He said the H&M store coming to Northpark this summer and the new Seafood R'evolution restaurant at the Renaissance this fall will continue to drive in consumers.

"I think we have a lot of quality businesses here," he said. "If I were to give a reason for continued growth we have here, I'd say that."

McGee said something is always taking place in Ridgeland and the staff from tourism to community development come together well.

"There's usually something of some magnitude going on here almost every week that's bringing people here," he said.

The real winner in sales tax comes out to be Pearl though, which has seen collections increase by 15 percent since July 1. Enormous increases have occurred since November after the state-subsidized shopping center opened.

But, that money isn't all going into city coffers.

The 80-store outlet shop was built by Spectrum Capital, an affiliate of Yates Cos. Spectrum is eligible to collect 80 percent of the associated sales tax up to $24 million to recoup development costs.

To date, Pearl has collected nearly $1 million more in sales tax than it did July 2012-March 2013.

Canton, on the other hand, hasn't fared as well. The city has collected over $10,000 less this period after several stagnant months.

During the January opening of a new Wal-Mart Supercenter, local officials said the store would boost sales tax revenue for the city, but figures by the Mississippi Department of Revenue show something entirely different.

In January, the city collected approximately $9,000 less than in 2013. In February, the city collected nearly $8,000 less than in 2013. In March, there was a slight increase of less than $1,000.

Flora's collections have taken a hit since July, too.

In the same time period as last, there has been a decrease of $20,000.

The state's sales tax collections have a three-month cycle. Tax is collected by the retailer one month; it is reported and paid to the state Tax Commission by the retailer the second month; and the diversion is paid to the cities by the Tax Commission the third month.