Biloxi Mayor Pushes For Better Tax Spending

Harrison County crews do all sorts of work inside the city limits, like building a road for a new park in the City of Gulfport. Mayor A.J. Holloway says the county helps pay for projects and services in his city too, and Holloway says Biloxi residents pay more county taxes than they do city.

"What I am saying is that this is something we need to pay close attention to, particularly in these times when the size of the cities in this county is growing and the size of the unincorporated areas is shrinking," Holloway said.

Supervisor Bobby Eleuterius says the county is shrinking because the cities keep annexing more land. And he says the reason Biloxi residents pay more county taxes is because of the millions of dollars Biloxi collects each year in gaming revenues.

"They reduced over 13 mills in the last few years. No other city or the county can compete with that because they have that little goldmine that no one else has," Eleuterius said.

Holloway says gaming has been a boom for his city. Still, he wants taxpayer dollars to stretch as far as possible.

"We do not want to get in a case where Biloxi and Gulfport are subsidizing operations in smaller cities and in the rural areas of the county while depriving our own citizens."

Eleuterius says there are ways to make the money go further, but he and Supervisor Connie Rocko say no citizen is being deprived.

"I have personally spent $300,000 on a landscaping project on Highway 90, $100,000 on the Biloxi Port Commission, $100,000 on the Seafood Museum, $200,000 to the Saenger," Eleuterius said.

"Inside the city limits we do paving, we do recreational projects together and anything the city ever calls us on we are there," District 5 Supervisor Connie Rockco said.

Rockco says she will push to have more communication between the county and the cities to make sure tax dollars go as far as possible.