PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) - The Petal Board of Aldermen is considering a restaurant sales tax increase of up to 3% to boost revenue for the city.
The proposal could earmark funds for the Parks & Recreation Department, which is currently supported with money from the general fund.
This, in turn, would allow general fund money to be used on roads and infrastructure throughout the city and other projects for the public.
The Friendly City hasn't seen a restaurant tax increase in 13 years and is currently set at 7%.
Petal Mayor Hal Marx says that while he is against any type of tax increase, the additional money could provide a source of steady revenue to the city, which would help provide a long-term solution to future budgets.
“The only reason I am entertaining the idea is one, I don’t want to see property tax raised and I believe the only other option that the board will look at will be to raise property tax.” Marx said. “The other reason is because the citizens would get a vote, and I would stand by whatever the citizens vote. If they vote for it, then I will do my best to make sure that money is used wisely, if they vote against it, then we’ll have to look at other options for finding a solution to that problem.”
City officials have struggled in recent years concerning the budget for the Parks & Recreation Department and the new sales tax is seen as an effort to maintain programs and services provided by the department.
There are plans to hold town hall meetings in the near future to allow citizens an opportunity to give feedback about the proposal.
If adopted, the measure would still need to be approved by the Mississippi Legislature before coming into effect.