Gulfport Studies Tax Increase Options - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR AT STAKE

Gulfport Studies Tax Increase Options

The optional sales tax is an idea supported by the Mississippi Municipal League. It would give cities permission to hold elections, and let residents decide if sales taxes should go up. In Gulfport's case, an extra one penny per dollar would help pay for $123 million worth of city improvements.

The Northwood Hills North drainage project is one of 291 water, sewer, road and drainage projects that Gulfport has on its books. According to Mayor Ken Combs, "We just have a lot of needs and no money to correct them with."

So the mayor is pushing for the state to pass a law that gives cities a sales tax option. If the legislature says okay, and then voters go along with Gulfport's tax plan, the city's sales tax would go up from seven to eight percent. That would pay Gulfport an extra $12 million a year. "And we would use it for water and sewer repairs," Combs said, "and for corrections of our drainage structures and try to make a more livable environment when we get some of these heavy thunderstorms in here."

Council president Billy Hewes said the additional sales tax would "be a giant step for Gulfport in getting things done that we need to get done."

Mayor Combs said getting state lawmakers to approve the optional sales tax concept is a long shot. But he said it must be done. You see, without the extra $12 million a year in sales tax collections, the mayor said Gulfport would have no choice. "There is not but one other thing to do," the mayor said, "and that's what we're trying not to do. But that is to increase property taxes in the city of Gulfport."

The mayor and the city council are looking for ways to avoid bigger property tax bills, but still get money to repair roads, drainage and water systems. That's why they pushed for the local sales tax request. "If we don't have this," Councilman Hewes said, "we're going to have to get the money from somewhere else, probably in some sort of tax increase. But the sales tax is the fairest tax that there is."

by Brad Kessie

  • NEWSMore>>

  • George Co. School District takes special needs kids on the Polar Express

    George Co. School District takes special needs kids on the Polar Express

    Wednesday, December 13 2017 1:34 PM EST2017-12-13 18:34:38 GMT
    Pre-K and kindergarteners in George County School District are all heading to ride the Polar Express this week, and Tuesday's ride was reserved for a special group of kiddos in the district. (Photo source: WLOX)Pre-K and kindergarteners in George County School District are all heading to ride the Polar Express this week, and Tuesday's ride was reserved for a special group of kiddos in the district. (Photo source: WLOX)

    Pre-K and kindergarteners in George County School District are all heading to ride the Polar Express this week, and Tuesday's ride was reserved for a special group of kiddos in the district. 

    More >>

    Pre-K and kindergarteners in George County School District are all heading to ride the Polar Express this week, and Tuesday's ride was reserved for a special group of kiddos in the district. 

    More >>
  • Progress of George Co. Regional Hospital renovations now visible

    Progress of George Co. Regional Hospital renovations now visible

    Wednesday, December 13 2017 1:33 PM EST2017-12-13 18:33:10 GMT
    The steel frame of the new wing of the George Co. Regional Health Complex is a tangible sign that those renovations are nearing completion.  (Photo source: WLOX)The steel frame of the new wing of the George Co. Regional Health Complex is a tangible sign that those renovations are nearing completion.  (Photo source: WLOX)

    The steel frame of the new wing of the George Co. Regional Health Complex is a tangible sign that those renovations are nearing completion. 

    More >>

    The steel frame of the new wing of the George Co. Regional Health Complex is a tangible sign that those renovations are nearing completion. 

    More >>
  • Victim identified in accident outside Hancock Co. school

    Victim identified in accident outside Hancock Co. school

    Wednesday, December 13 2017 12:08 PM EST2017-12-13 17:08:42 GMT

    One adult died and two children were injured after a wreck in front of East Hancock Elementary School Tuesday night. It happened as the school's annual Christmas program was underway. 

    More >>

    One adult died and two children were injured after a wreck in front of East Hancock Elementary School Tuesday night. It happened as the school's annual Christmas program was underway. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly