City to vote Tuesday on two percent lodging tax

Published 9:21 pm Saturday, July 5, 2014

On Tuesday, Brookhavenites will vote on a tourism and economic development tax on rooms in hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts.

The tax is a two percent increase that would affect businesses with six or more room rentals used for overnight stays. Only people staying in the hotel will be taxed.

According to a flyer handed out to the board of aldermen, funds generated by the tax will be used to develop a positive image of the city to promote tourism; branding and imaging of the city; funding grants to promote and advertise multi-day events that require overnight stays; marketing of the FEMA conference space, arena and parks; web page improvements; and “quality of life” infrastructure such as bike paths and walking trails.

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David Phillips, Ward Six alderman said the tax would generate $100,000 to $120,000 for the city.

“First let me say that I am in favor of a strategy that will promote Brookhaven. Raising dollars from various sources is a good start,” said John Lynch, owner of The Inn on Whitworth. “Other ways of promotion are also needed such as word of mouth, supporting our local chamber and doing business locally where possible.”

According to Trip Advisor, current prices of room in Brookhaven range from $50 to $100. The new tax would increase those prices by $1 to $2.

The July 8 ballot will be a simple for or against question: “The City of Brookhaven, Mississippi, proposes to levy a two percent tax on the gross proceeds of room rentals from hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts with six or more guest rooms. The revenue generated will be to promote Tourism and Parks and Recreations within the city of Brookhaven, Mississippi.”

 City Voting Precincts

The city voting precincts are:

Ward One: Cloverdale, located in the Cloverdale Apartments on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Ward Two: Alexander, Alexander Junior High School, 713 Beauregard St.

Ward Three: Lincoln County-Brookhaven Government Complex, South First Street

Ward Four: Brookhaven Elementary School, 300 S. Church St.

Ward Five: Brookhaven Recreation Department, 689 Old Highway 51 NE

Ward Six: Mamie Martin School, 420 Vivian Merritt St.