WLOX has been pumping the upcoming election in the Bay even posting Bill Synder on the beach in Old Town with live reports this morning ahead of the public forum on the topic, which I understand was disrupted by a citizen from Waveland who has no voting rights in the Bay but perceived having a horse in the race nonetheless.
Vote on Bay’s food and beverage tax is next Tuesday ~ Geoff Belcher
Public forum generates debate on Bay St. Louis tax referendum ~ Bill Synder
There is talk that the odd election date is the product of pro-tax proponents scheduling the election at a time when like minded people can pack the polls. That may be true but when it comes to propositions that need a 60% majority my experience is there is no good time for an election. There has to be major community support for such things to get the needed majority and I am not seeing that part on social media. What I am seeing are infrequent social media posters putting things like “Vote No” on their social media timelines.
Rhonda Oliver summed up for WLOX this morning the number one reason I am hearing why people are not supporting the proposed tax increase: Continue reading “Two Percent Hospitality Tax on the Ropes in Bay St Louis”
Not sure when the proposal appears on the ballot but it appears that voters in the Pine Belt are more amenable than those on the coast to levying the tax for recreational purposes with Waynesboro being the latest to put on a levy:
Waynesboro voters pass 1% restaurant, bar and hotel tax ~ Quametra Wilborn
A few weeks back Hattiesburg voters voted to add the 3rd cent to their levy:
Hattiesburg 1% tax referendum passes with 81% of vote ~ WDAM
With the Midtown development coming on line Hattiesburg has become a restaurant and bar “boom town”, which goes with the rest of the booming economy in the Pine Belt. People there don’t mind the extra penny on the dollar because the results are tangible. Most places parks and recreation are like mom and apple pie (most people I spoke with in Hattiesburg especially liked the fact the City was stepping up for its College as Reed-Green desperately needs a major renovation).
That was not true in Gulfport where the measure never made the ballot even though it would have benefited Parks and Recreation.
Here at Slabbed and in social media there are many folks voicing opposition to the new tax in Bay St Louis, which has not yet held its election. One difference is that in the Bay some of the money is slated to fund a new tourism bureaucracy at the local economic development nonprofit despite the fact there is already a local tourism nonprofit. This appears on the surface to be an unnecessary duplication of efforts. Continue reading “Hotel and Restaurant Tax Still Topical in the Bay”