What is the Hattiesburg 1¢ Parks & Rec proposal?
Hattiesburg voters will have the opportunity to decide on whether to increase the current special sales tax on restaurants and hotels/motels by 1%.
What will the new tax be used for?
Half of the revenue generated by this proposed tax will be used by the City of Hattiesburg to upgrade and invest in its parks and recreation facilities.
The other half of the revenue will be used to renovate Reed Green Coliseum, allowing it to be used as a municipal arena for concerts and other entertainment events.
How much revenue will be the new tax generate?
This additional 1% tax is expected to generate $2.4 million annually. Of that amount, $1.2 million will be used for city parks and recreation projects, and $1.2 million will be used to renovate Reed Green Coliseum.
What is the current restaurant and hotel tax?
Currently, both the restaurant tax and the hotel/motel tax are at 2%. The 2% restaurant tax currently funds the Hattiesburg Convention Commission, which operates the Convention Center, the Hattiesburg Zoo, the African American Military History Museum, the Saenger Theater, the Eureka Freedom Summer Museum (opening 2020) and Oseola McCarty Museum (opening 2020).
The 2% hotel/motel tax currently funds the Hattiesburg Tourism Commission, which operates Visit Hattiesburg and coordinates all tourism marketing efforts on behalf of the City of Hattiesburg.
How many votes does the 1¢ proposal need to pass on April 23?
To be approved, the 1¢ proposal needs 60% of the votes cast in favor of the new tax.
If approved, when will the new tax expire?
If approved by a 60% margin in the referendum, the tax would be enacted until June 30, 2022. To extend the tax, both the City Council and Mississippi Legislature would have to approve a four-year extension.
Where do I vote on April 23?
Because this is a special municipal referendum, you will vote at your city precinct, which can sometimes be different than the location you vote at for presidential, congressional, state or county elections. The City of Hattiesburg will send out postcards with the correct voting location. However, if you have questions on where to vote, please call 601-545-4522. Also, if you will be out of town on April 23, you can vote absentee at City Hall. If you need to request an absentee ballot application, please call 601-545-4522.