Brookhaven officials petition for tourism tax

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BROOKHAVEN, Miss. (AP) - The city of Brookhaven is asking the Legislature to approve a local tourism tax.

“With the trend of small towns losing their young people to metropolitan areas for jobs and lifestyle, we must use every tool possible to keep Brookhaven competitive,” said Mayor Joe Cox.

The Daily Leader reports (http://bit.ly/1g9vUVH ) that the city wants a 3 percent tax imposed on the gross proceeds of any hotels, motels and bed and breakfast in the city. The tax would only include overnight stays and would not apply to area restaurants.

Funds collected from the tax would be allocated for a specific use.

“The goal is to accumulate funds and to use the money as a tool for the branding and imaging of the city of Brookhaven,” Alderman David Phillips said.

If legislators approve the petition, Cox says the proposed tax will then have to be approved by 60 percent of voters in a future city election.

Local tourism taxes have been a popular method to raise money for specific projects.

Phillips said the proposed tax would fall in line with current tax rates in McComb and Natchez.

In 2005, McComb instituted a 3 percent tax on the gross proceeds of sales derived from room rentals of hotels and motels.

Since 1973, the city of Natchez has had a 3 percent tax on the gross proceeds of hotels and motels.

In 2008, Natchez added a two-dollar per day tax of each occupied hotel or motel room, according to the Mississippi Department of Revenue.

“Think of what that money could do for the city,” said Phillips.

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Information from: The Daily Leader, http://www.dailyleader.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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