Tax revenue check to possibly help finish Petal police pay raise

Proceeds from a 3 percent sales tax hike could be used to boost salary of first responders in Petal.
Published: Dec. 12, 2021 at 9:49 PM CST
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PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) - The Friendly City is preparing to receive its first check back from the Mississippi Department of Revenue for the 3 percent tax implemented in October.

The tax was aimed at restaurants and hotels to raise money that would be converted to general fund use.

The Board of Aldermen will meet to discuss using this money to finish a Petal Police Department pay raise.

“A lot of folks I talked to first-hand knew they were going to vote, and they expected us to take care of our first responders,” Petal Mayor Tony Ducker said. “We are going to do that again with our fire department when we see where we are at financially and we can take care of them like we need to as well.

“It has been a two-year process, around $80,000 to $85,000 we have put into our payroll.”

Ducker said competitive pay would lead to retaining high-quality workers and help the City of Petal continue to establish its brand as The Friendly City.

“The fire department and police department deal with things that ten years ago was unheard of,” Ducker said. “We want to keep and retain qualified individuals so they can be the best they can be at their jobs.”

After finishing the police pay raise, Ducker strives to implement pay raises for other first responders and address infrastructure issues throughout Petal.

But, first things must come first.

“Today more than any other time, we need to show that we support these men and women who are willing to go out there and sacrifice the things that they sacrifice on a daily basis,” Petal Police Chief Matthew Hiatt said. “It’s our way of showing our gratitude for them.”

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