Hotel Motel Tax Increase Proposed In Pascagoula

Voters in Harrison County approved a two percent increase in the hotel motel tax this past week, but will voters in Pascagoula do the same?

City leaders sure hope so.

They're proposing a three percent increase in the hotel motel tax.

The money raised would go towards renovating and building recreational facilities they say would bring in more visitors.

However, as with the Harrison County tax increase, not everyone is behind the plan.

"LaFont Inn, this is Amber. How may I help you?" Amber Miles says.

Miles has been answering phones at the LaFont Inn for two years.

It probably comes as now surprise when she says the first thing customers want to know is the price.

"One hundred and ninety-one, tax included," Miles says.

While room rates are on the minds of customers, Miles says they also want to know the total cost before they book their room.

"They want to know how much they are going to be charged, how much they are going to pay," Miles says.

Although none of the hotel and motel owners wanted to talk on camera, the majority of them say they are against higher taxes on rooms.

They say Pascagoula doesn't have many visitors and they are afraid higher taxes will scare away the few visitors they have.

But Pascagoula city manager Kay Kell says they shouldn't worry.

What the city does with the extra money will in fact attract more visitors to the area.

"We promised them that whatever we did, we wouldn't do anything that would compete with them. We decided recreation is a good way to spend the money, and they get the benefit. If we host more tournaments, more people would come stay in their hotels and motels," Kell says.

Since hotels in other Jackson County cities like Moss Point and Ocean Springs already have the 3-percent tax., Kell says those visiting Pascagoula aren't likely to see much of a difference.