October 22, 2020

Voters approve increase in hotel, restaurant tax

Voters in a south Mississippi city have voted to increase the local hotel and restaurant tax from 2% to 3% to pay for parks and other services.

The change in Hattiesburg takes effect June 1.

The referendum on Tuesday needed at least 60% of votes to pass. News outlets report it received about 81%.

Mayor Toby Barker says the tax increase could generate at least an additional $1.2 million a year.

The money will pay for park improvements and let the city aid renovations to the University of Southern Mississippi’s Reed Green Coliseum. City officials say they hope the arena could host other events besides basketball games and commencements.

Barker says the added money will let Hattiesburg use existing revenue for other purposes, including more road and drainage projects.