Senate approves bill allowing Petal sales tax referendum

Senate approves bill allowing Petal sales tax referendum

PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) - Petal residents may soon get the chance to vote on a proposed 3% sales tax increase on restaurants in the city.

Wednesday, the state Senate approved a bill to allow Petal to hold a referendum.

The bill also passed the House of Representatives recently.

Petal Mayor Hal Marx says the bill will likely be signed in the next few days by Gov. Tate Reeves.

And if adopted by residents, Marx says the tax could bring in as much as $750,000 in new annual revenue to the city.

A special election would likely be scheduled for sometime mid-summer.

It would need the support of 60% of Petal residents to pass.

“We’re still waiting to make sure there’s no motion to reconsider,” Marx said. “It’s a parliamentary procedure someone could use to kill the bill, but I don’t anticipate that happening. So we’re just waiting that time period out. It’ll then go to the governor for his signature which I’m assuming he’s going to sign.”

“This revenue could be very instrumental in transforming our budget, so we don’t have to choose between things like public safety or youth sports for instance, that we can actually afford to have it all, if people are willing to chip in a little extra when they go out to eat,” Marx said.

Christian Gomez, owner and operator of Los Chicos Tequila Bar & Grill in Petal, says nobody likes new taxes, but he says it’s something he can live with if the voters approve.

“I think it might be something good for the city,” Gomez said. “As far as restaurants go, I think it’s something restaurants might have to get used to.”

Last year, the city hoped state lawmakers would approve a bill allowing an election for a two percent sales tax increase on restaurants, but that bill failed to pass.

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