State Mayors Say Legislature Should Give More Revenue Options

By uniting, many of the state's mayors hope they'll get what want, which is the opportunity to ask voters what they want. The Mississippi Municipal League is touring the state to drum up support for a legislative bill allowing optional sales tax.

Wednesday in Biloxi, the MML told several South Mississippi mayors and city officials to contact their state representatives. The bill would allow cities and counties to ask citizens to vote on optional sales taxes without getting legislative approval first. Sixty percent of voters would then have to okay the tax before it could go in effect..

"No tax, that I know of, in the history of the state has ever been voluntary where you vote on it, and you get a choice," Bay St. Louis mayor Eddie Favre said. "It's not a tax bill. It's simply an empowerment of the people with the right to vote."

During the meeting, Gulfport council member Kim Savant suggested that future MML meetings take place in his city or in Jackson or Hancock counties, since no other Harrison County cities showed up. A Biloxi spokesman said Biloxi did not attend because the city council has already turned down a resolution backing the optional sales tax bill.