- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (AP) - Officials in Moss Point, Pascagoula, Gautier and Ocean Springs have given the needed approval for Jackson County’s proposed November referendum on a 2 percent hotel-motel occupancy tax.

The Sun-Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1DIZS8V ) the tax would raise $600,000 to $700,000 a year to fund Jackson County’s part for membership in the Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The CVB will use the money to promote the three Coast counties as a single tourism destination.

“It will allow us to stay a part of the CVB. It will give us a seat at the table and further develop tourism in Jackson County,” County Administrator Brian Fulton said.

Often it’s the attractions in Harrison County that stand out in people’s minds, but Jackson County has a lot to offer in nature tourism, an area of interest that is growing nationwide, Fulton said.

It will also promote the one-Coast concept, he said.

Moss Point and Pascagoula already have a 3 percent occupancy tax, which would increase to 5 percent if voters approve the added tax in November. Ocean Springs has a 2 percent tax, which would increase to 4 percent. Gautier and the county currently have no room tax.

Half of the county’s hotels are in unincorporated areas. Moss Point has most rooms among the cities with 750. Pascagoula has 570.

Hancock County contributes its 2 percent occupancy tax to the CVB and Harrison County contributes 2.25 percent of its 5 percent room tax.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com

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