- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) - Vicksburg officials are proposing two tourism tax options to finance construction of a sports complex.

The Vicksburg Post reports (http://bit.ly/1uUAqtx) the Mayor and Board of Aldermen voted Monday to ask the lawmakers for a citywide tourism tax or a countywide levy to support the sportsplex.

As local and private bills, they apply to just one locality or entity. Legislators will only consider such bills if they are supported by city or county governing boards.

The city seeks authority to levy up to a 2 percent food and beverage and hotel tax, pending an election. The tax would be in addition to the 7 percent sales tax and two additional special taxes already levied on food and beverages and hotel stays.

The city board acted even though there is no site or plans drawn up for the proposed complex.

“If you don’t get their permission, you’re not going to have anything, because we don’t have permission to tax,” said Mayor George Flaggs said.

“All this is, is to make certain we meet deadline requirements for the introduction of bills. We really need to meet with our local delegation and tell them we’re trying to get ahead of the curve so the deadlines don’t lapse on us,” said Flaggs, a former lawmaker.

According to projections by the city’s accounting office, a countywide food and beverage and lodging levy would average from $1.137 million to $2.27 million a year based on a tax of from 1 to 2 percent. Using the 1 to 2 percent values, a citywide tax would raise from $1.11 million to about $2.23 million.

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Information from: The Vicksburg Post, http://www.vicksburgpost.com

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