Additional Hotel Tax In Jackson County Drawing Mixed Reviews

Jackson County is looking for a new way to pull in more money for economic development. The Board of Supervisors is considering a one percent increase on all hotel stays. The money generated by the tax increase would go back into promoting the county.

"This money would be earmarked exclusively for that propose to help fund economic development," Jackson County Supervisor Tim Broussard says.

For hotels in Ocean Springs and Moss Point, the increase would be tacked on to the 3 percent bedroom tax already in place.

"We're totally against that 1 percent tax," hotel manager Jacqueline Costiet says. "We get a lot of complaints because we're right next to Pascagoula and they're at 7 percent. We're at 10."

Hotel Mangers here in Jackson County say competing with other areas is hard enough and a one percent increase in hotel taxes won't help any.

"I think it will really hurt," Costiet says. "Business is really down compared to what it was just a few years ago already. And if people can stay in Mobile or Harrison county at lower rate, then they will do that."

The Board will vote on the hotel tax increase during next month's meeting. If the Board approves this hotel tax increase, it could appear before the state legislature by the end of this session.

Both Harrison and Hancock Counties already charge a hotel tax. Harrison County's is 3 percent and Hancock County's is 2 percent.