City Leaders Seek More Sales Tax Dollars for Infrastructure
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Veazey Speaking at Municipal League News Conference at the Capitol
Desare Frazier

City leaders across Mississippi say they need help with crumbling infrastructure in their communities. They're lobbying for a larger portion of sales tax money.

Just as the State of Mississippi is facing the need to fix its dilapidated infrastructure, leaders of cities, towns and villages say they need to do the same thing.  The Municipal League says its 295 members are lobbying lawmakers to bump up the sales tax money they receive from 18 1/2 percent to 20 percent. Shari Veazey is the leagues' executive director.

"Well over 70 percent of sales tax collected by the state is generated in a city, town or village. They need more of that back so they can make these improvements without raising property taxes," said Veazey 

Chuck Cariker is the Mayor of Tunica. He says there are several bills that would gradually increase the portion of sales taxes cities get back over a span of three to five years. Cariker says they'd also like to receive a portion of the state tax refund people get back who have outstanding fines. 

"Somebody's got a past due water bill or a past due fine that we have been unable to collect. We could possibly get some of their tax refund back through the department of revenue and that would help the state tremendously because as we collect the fine the state gets a tremendous portion of that," said Cariker. 

Cariker says lawmakers are telling them the budget is very tight. But they are hopeful for a slight increase in the sales tax they receive.