Lodging tax bill signed by governor

Published 10:32am Friday, April 4, 2014

The Mississippi Legislature has approved a local lodging tax bill that will now be an upcoming referendum to be voted on by Brookhaven residents. Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1507 March 27, after the bill passed the House and Senate.

The 2 percent sales tax would be levied on hotels, motels and bed and breakfast establishments within the city. It would not apply to restaurants.

Now, the board of aldermen will have to adopt a resolution and vote on when to hold the referendum. Since the lodging tax is a municipal matter, it will not appear on the June federal primary election ballots.

The tax is one familiar to surrounding municipalities such as Natchez, McComb and Jackson, which have levied a similar tax for years, using the money for specific purposes that include marketing city attractions and events.

“This is an effort to keep Brookhaven competitive and provide jobs to our citizens,” Mayor Joe Cox said. “It’s something that is long overdue and will benefit our citizens, as it has done in other cities.”