Vote yes on Tuesday to help our city grow

Published 8:48pm Saturday, July 5, 2014

Brookhaven faces a major opportunity July 8 as city voters go to the polls to vote on levying a 2 percent tax on the gross proceeds of room rentals from hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts with six or more guest rooms.

The funds generated from the tax will be used to promote tourism and parks and recreation within the city.

This modest 2 percent tax would only increase the cost of an average $100 hotel room by $2 a night, while the total revenue generated could mean as much as $100,000 to $120,000 more a year that the city will be able to use to boost our economy, improve our quality of life and generate more jobs for our citizens.

Specifically, the funds will be used to advertise and promote tourism and events such as festivals, sports tournaments, cultural events, plays, shopping and other activities that bring people into town. The revenue also can be used for quality-of-life infrastructure improvements such as walking trails, park enhancements and bike paths.

As tourism grows, more and more people will come to Brookhaven, stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants and shop in our stores. In effect, the funds will become self-perpetuating, generating more business, which in turn will bring in more revenue – not only through the lodging tax but also through sales taxes.

Passing the lodging tax will give our economy the shot in the arm it needs to move forward and get things growing in town. Other towns like Natchez, McComb and Louisville are already reaping the benefits of similar tax levies.

Please go to the polls and vote for the tax on Tuesday. Brookhaven needs this revenue if it is to grow.