PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Voters in Pascagoula are getting ready to go to the polls later this month, not to elect a president, but to cast ballots on a proposed tax increase. If passed, the tax on prepared foods in restaurants in the city would go up by 2 percent.
It's busy in the kitchen at the Annex Restaurant. If the cost of food goes up, that may not always be the case. Susie Boykin is the owner.
"Well, this little restaurant, we have a lot of seniors, so they are on a fixed income," said Boykin.
What would any additional money be used for? In a word, recreation, according to city parks and recreation director Darcie Crew.
"We'll do upgrades to all of our existing facilities, meaning our parks, like Beach Park or Point Park, River Park. Those kinds of things," Crew explained.
Some don't buy that. One of them is Fred Ros.
"I'm all for finding ways of funding recreation, but I'm never in favor of adding new taxes," Ros said.
Any tax increase would have an impact on people, including Dudley Nix.
"It would affect my family more, especially my sister-in-law. She has three kids. Bigger family, bigger bills," Nix said.
While most of the people I talked with say they are generally opposed to higher taxes, or anything else coming out of their wallets these days, many changed their minds when I told them all of the money, a proposed $800,000 a year, would go toward recreation.
"I think it's great if it's going to the kids and give them an opportunity to get them off the streets, and so something positive for themselves," said Torrey Hargrow.
Others, like Gini Hubbard, are looking at the big picture when it comes to children.
"I like keeping them away from activities they shouldn't be around and keeping them more involved in health activities. Things to keep their minds busy and work on their physical health," Hubbard said.
One thing everyone agrees on is this vote will be about a lot more than just fun and games.
The vote on the proposed tax increase will be held Tuesday, Aug. 30. Sixty percent of the voters have to approve the tax hike in order for it to pass.