Proposed restaurant tax in Bay St. Louis

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Bay St. Louis is looking to make some improvements.

The town of Bay St. Louis runs mostly on tourism. Hancock Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tish Williams said, “Well first of all tourism is the only industry that Bay St. Louis relies on. So, being able to market our city assets is really critical to our businesses.”

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To help bring more tourists into the area, the city has proposed a two percent tax increase for restaurants and bars. Bay St. Louis City Council President Jeffrey Reed said, “If passed, the money will be used for two things, tourism and to improve the fields and the parks and recreation of the city.”

To put the proposed tax increase into perspective if you bought a cup of tea for around $3 you would be paying about six cents in taxes. “It’s really not that much when you think about it, but when you add up what it can be collectively to generate additional revenue to market the city, they are estimating that it could bring in about $500,000 in additional revenue.”

Half a million dollars that Bay St. Louis Mayor Mike Favre says will help the community grow. “We live on tourism. We got to be able to promote our city right now. We have got people coming, but we do very little promoting our own.”

If legislature passes this proposed tax increase then the citizens of Bay St. Louis will vote on this issue. “If we can get it passed through legislature then we will sit down and start having workshops in each district and make sure people are fully aware of what is going on, exactly what it will be used for and there won’t be any rumors out there, no “if’s” or whatever. It will be laid out to show exactly what it is used for.”

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Kristen comes to News 25 from the chilly Midwest. She spent the last year and a half as an anchor and reporter in northern Michigan, but calls Columbus, Ohio her home. Kristen Graduated from Kent State University in 2017. During her time at Kent she worked at TV2 the student run news station and had the opportunity to travel the country covering the most recent presidential election. During her free time Kristen loves volunteering at local animal shelters and hanging out with her husband Avery. If you see Kristen out and about don’t be afraid to say “hello!” She loves to chat with new people and has never met a stranger.