Eating out could soon cost more in Southaven

By Nick Kenney - bio | email

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC-TV) - The city of Southaven may fund the improvement of Snowden Grove and Greenbrook Parks through a restaurant tax.

At Interstate 55 and Goodman Road in Southaven, there are plenty of dining choices, all of which may soon be slightly more expensive, due to a tax hike.

"It's not a mandatory tax, unlike property tax that you have to pay, and it's a minimal amount dispersed throughout the year," Southaven Mayor Greg Davis said.

The one percent tax would be charged to all restaurant sales in Southaven.  According to Davis, the tax could be an important source of extra revenue in a city that hosts over a dozen sports tournaments per year at Snowden Grove Park.

"Our best projection at this point shows close to a total increase of about $750,000 to 1 million dollars a year in our tourism tax," Davis said.

Davis said baseball tournaments generate about $2 million per year, which is nearly half of the city's Parks Department budget.

An added restaurant tax would fund the expansion and improvement of Snowden Grove, something Davis calls a necessary project.

"Our competition is stiffening across the South," he said. "People are building fields and making improvements.  If we want to maintain our visitors coming here, we're going to have to improve our fields, stay ahead of the game so to speak."

Davis said the city plans to introduce a resolution asking the Mississippi State Legislature to approve an extension of its tourism tax, in the form of a restaurant tax, at its January 5th Board of Alderman meeting.

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