BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) – In just over a month, the citizens of Moss Point head to the polls. River City residents will vote for or against a 2% restaurant tax increase.
“Now is not the right time,” said Moss Point resident Irma Mitchell. “Maybe next year, but not this year. It’s not the right time.”
“I’m all for the referendum,” added community activist Sherwood Bradford. “A 2% tax is going to be good for the city.”
Voters were divided on Friday. Elderly Irma Mitchell said in a season already under pressure and in the wake of the pandemic, the timing was not right for her.
“And if we take the raise now, it will take us back to where we were,” she added. “We only got a 2% raise on Social Security.”
But community activist Sherwood Bradford said the referendum was what the city needed, but he would like it to benefit public safety as well.
“I want everyone to celebrate, but I’m concerned about the lack of police in the community,” Bradford said. “So why are we passing the bill, we should include in it that every two years or every year we fund an officer with this money.”
If voters approve the new tax, it could mean major improvements. City leaders say it will benefit tourism marketing efforts as well as parks and recreation. But some voters wanted to know exactly how the money will be allocated.
“Tourists can win or people why tourists come here, but that doesn’t help us at all,” Mitchell said. “We are not tourists, we live here.
“A lot of people in the community want it to be more defined, 90% leisure, tell us what leisure is,” Bradford said. “I think if you define more and are more open with the community, it will pass smoothly.”
The proposed voting date is September 13.
Want more WLOX news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Copyright 2022 WLOX. All rights reserved.