Budget cut could hurt Tunica County - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Budget cut could hurt Tunica County

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(WMC-TV) - Every time money is spent at a casino, the town of Tunica gets some of the profit from Tunica County. Now, county leaders want to keep more of the money and that could be a big blow to the town's budget.

Resident Gary Cline has been living and running his business in Tunica for over a decade.

"I've lived here for 18 years," stated Cline.

The entire time, the county has been paying about $2 million a year in casino earnings to the small town. Those numbers could soon be slashed.

"It's really astonishing that the board of supervisors want to take back half," exclaimed Cline.

In a time when casino revenues are down, the county said it is trying to tighten the belt. But, it might be at the expense of people living in town.

Another citizen of Tunica County, James Dunn, is concerned about the possible change.,

"We just need access to that revenue to invest in the county and what's best for the county. What's good for the county is going to benefit the town of Tunica," said Dunn.

Town leaders said losing roughly $1 million a year would be about a third of the town's budget. They said about 20 percent of the town's workforce could face cuts. This would also include the police that patrol by Cline's shop.

"The police force would be cut back and we wouldn't have police patrolling like they should be," finished Cline.

County leaders are expected to discuss the matter next Monday at the public meeting. After they vote on a proposal, they will send it to Jackson where lawmakers have the final say in approving the changes.

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