Food & Beverage Tax Frustrates Ocean Springs Eateries - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Food & Beverage Tax Frustrates Ocean Springs Eateries

"For every dollar you spend, you're going to pay two more pennies than you would normally," Ben Hornvey Government Street Grocery co-owner says.

Hornvey says a two percent tax on food and drinks at his bar might seem like pocket change to some. But he believes the effects of an additional tax would actually take away from what small businesses like his have worked so hard to accomplish.

"Just think it's seriously unfair that you're going to make the people who are reaping the benefit, foot the bill for something the city wants done, and not something everybody wants done," Hornvey says.  

The city wants to use the estimated $15-20 million generated from the proposed tax to benefit parks, recreation, and public safety. In Betty Goodman's coffee shop, patrons often use change. She says there's no way to disguise the tax's presence when you're dealing with nickels and dimes.

"I think it's going to be very hard on the small businesses. It's going to make it difficult for us," Goodman says.

Goodman says Katrina took a toll on restaurants large and small throughout Ocean Springs. She worries the added burden wouldn't just be financial, but also taxing to the mere existence of businesses like hers.

"If you can go to another area and the prices are lower, you'd chose the area that has the same good food as Ocean Springs does with a cheaper price," Goodman says.  

But don't bank on that restaurant tax just yet. The State Legislature must grant the city permission to let voters be the judge, by putting the issue on the November ballot.

Recreation Director Sean Campbell revealed results from a survey at Tuesday night's meeting. Of the 244 people who responded, 86 percent favor the two percent tax.

Aldermen say the tax wouldn't be paid by the business, but instead, by consumers. They estimate one-third of that tax revenue would come from out of town visitors using restaurant and bar services.

By Keli Rabon

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Exchange your child's old car seat for a voucher to get a new one at Target

    Exchange your child's old car seat for a voucher to get a new one at Target

    Thursday, April 19 2018 6:27 AM EDT2018-04-19 10:27:04 GMT
    (Source: Target)(Source: Target)

    Are you in the market for a new child's car seat? If you have an old one, exchange it at Target for a voucher that can be used to purchase a new car seat, booster seat, car seat base, or travel system.

    More >>

    Are you in the market for a new child's car seat? If you have an old one, exchange it at Target for a voucher that can be used to purchase a new car seat, booster seat, car seat base, or travel system.

    More >>
  • Trump will skip Barbara Bush funeral, sending first lady

    Trump will skip Barbara Bush funeral, sending first lady

    Thursday, April 19 2018 6:42 PM EDT2018-04-19 22:42:41 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 1:06 AM EDT2018-04-20 05:06:00 GMT
    (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais). President Donald Trump walks down the stairs of Air Force One during his arrival at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla., Thursday, April 19, 2018.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais). President Donald Trump walks down the stairs of Air Force One during his arrival at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla., Thursday, April 19, 2018.
    President Donald Trump is not planning to attend the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush, choosing instead to send his wife, first lady Melania Trump. Trump frequently assailed members of the Bush family...More >>
    President Donald Trump is not planning to attend the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush, choosing instead to send his wife, first lady Melania Trump. Trump frequently assailed members of the Bush family during his 2016 campaign.More >>
  • BREAKING

    Walter Moody executed by the state of Alabama

    Walter Moody executed by the state of Alabama

    Thursday, April 19 2018 10:15 PM EDT2018-04-20 02:15:05 GMT
    Walter Moody (Source: Alabama Department of Corrections)Walter Moody (Source: Alabama Department of Corrections)

    The state of Alabama has executed Walter Leroy Moody Jr.

    More >>

    The state of Alabama has executed Walter Leroy Moody Jr.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly