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Jackson Sales Tax Passes Senate

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 10 Feb 2011 01:54pm | comments
Crews repair a broken water main in early 2010.

The Mississippi Senate has approved a bill extending a one-cent local sales tax for the city of Jackson until 2032, if city voters approve it. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that the money is intended to fix the capitol city's crumbling infrastructure.

The city of Jackson has struggled with decaying infrastructure for years, most notably a poor sewage system that had more than 120 broken water mains last winter.

City spokesman Chris Mims says Jackson voters would have to vote to approve the 1-cent local sales tax.

"At the end of the day, we are just very hopeful that we can get some legislation that we can use to take to the citizens of Jackson for a vote and use this funding mechanism to make these important improvements," Mims said.

Mims estimates that the tax would bring in up to 15-million dollars a year.

During debate on the Senate floor, Senator Hob Bryan of Amory argued against the tax.

"You need to be aware of the dramatic change in public police yo you are setting to the detriment of the ordinary person, to the determinant of the poor person and to the detriment of people who live in poor parts of the state. All to glorify a crowded which know very well, if they can get this on the books Ridgeland is going to be here, Flowood is going to be here. And there you will have it," Bryan said.

The Mississippi Municipal League is following this bill closely and does support expanding a local option sales tax.

Executive Director George Lewis says cities should be able to ask their citizens if they want to pay for new projects.

"This is an opportunity to provide a good resource for things to help their citizens and it is the citizens that will vote on a particular to get it passed," lewis said.

The bill passed the Senate overwhelmingly, 38 votes for it and just 9 votes against it. The measure now moves to the House.

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Crews repair a broken water main in early 2010.


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