The City of Moss Point will have to find another source of funding to help maintain its public buildings, public sports fields, and tourism initiatives after residents voted down a prepared food tax yesterday.
Tuesday’s vote failed by a narrow margin with 49.14 percent voting for the proposed tax increase and 50.86 percent voting against it. Mayor Mario King said, “It is disappointing and it’s unfortunate, however, the community spoke. I feel that we need to do a better job making sure that we educate people on actually what the tax is and what it is for on the next row.”
Less than ten percent of the city’s voters turned out for the two percent restaurant tax referendum on the ballot. “We want people to get out and vote. That is so important especially in a community with the makeup of Moss Point.”
Ninety-five percent of the funds from the tax increase would have gone towards the upkeep and maintenance of public buildings and sports fields, generating up to $400,000 over the span of those two years which Mayor King says is important in the growth of any city. “When a community grows, things grow and you have to pay for it. This goes into all the things we need in order to bring people into our community. We want to make sure we are putting our best foot forward and that we are making a good first impression on anyone that comes into Moss Point.”
The board of alderman decided Wednesday night to appoint a new recreation commission. Mayor King hopes with the help of this new commission to have this tax on the ballots again on September 10th.
Moss Point plans on holding a public forum with citizens and restaurant owners on June 10th at 9 p.m. at Pelican’s Landing in Moss Point. Their goal there will be to hear of any problems with the tax and educate the public on its possible benefits.