MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - City leaders in Moss Point are considering a two percent prepared food tax to bring in more tax dollars. This would be on top of the seven percent already collected.
Neighboring Pascagoula recently enacted a similar tax.
"They've done really well with it and so we wanted to get involved with it and see how Moss Point could really prosper from this," said Moss Point Mayor Mario King.
The tax would only be on food and beverages from restaurants, not any other merchandise sold in the city. King said a study showed that the tax could provide the city with an additional $430,000 a year.
"What this gives us the opportunity to do is insert some dollars into the community without raising taxes. This gives us an opportunity for visitors to be able to invest willfully and it's like giving the city a tip," said King.
According to King, that money would be split into three accounts dedicated to economic development, tourism, and parks and recreation. It's an idea that some residents think would benefit the city.
"I really think it would be good and it would really do a lot for the city here and they will be more minded to come down to see what we have and just enjoy the city as a whole," Willie Nettles said while fishing on the riverfront.
But not everyone is on board. Charles Riles said he's living on a fixed income.
"Two percent is not much, but for me, it is, as well as many senior citizens," said Riles.
King said the additional tax dollars will be worth it, and will result in more business for the area.
"We're going to drive it. We're also bringing in more restaurants through economic development. So you'll see some things happening in Moss Point with the relaunch of downtown," said King.
The issue will go to a referendum and the city will vote on it soon. King said the special election date will be set after figuring out a few more legal details.