Higher restaurant bills in DeSoto County could lead to better pa - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Higher restaurant bills in DeSoto County could lead to better parks

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Southaven started its "penny for the parks" program a few years ago. Now, the city wants to extend it another three years. Hernando could up the ante with a 2 cent tax if voters approve. Southaven started its "penny for the parks" program a few years ago. Now, the city wants to extend it another three years. Hernando could up the ante with a 2 cent tax if voters approve.
HERNANDO, MS -

(WMC-TV) - A tax is aiming to boost dollars for better parks in DeSoto County, but it will cost you when you go out to eat. Two cities in the county are waiting for Mississippi's governor to sign off on the proposal.

Southaven started its "penny for the parks" program a few years ago. Now, the city wants to extend it another three years. Hernando could up the ante with a 2 cent tax if voters approve.

If you ask Hernando city leaders, better amenities lead to more people and more revenue. That is why a makeover is in the works for several Hernando parks.

"As we upgrade our soccer facilities, our baseball facilities, then we'll start getting tournaments and people will come from out of county and out of the state," said Hernando Mayor Chip Johnson.

Improvements are expensive. To make changes without raising taxes, Hernando is considering taking 2 pennies from every dollar patrons spend going out to eat or sleeping at a hotel in town.

"Everything costs a little bit more. You have to spend a little bit to make a little bit to draw people here," said Sybil Crawford, who lives in Hernando.

There is a catch, though. Sixty percent of the city has to say 'yes' to the tax, which will also affect people living outside city limits.

"If you come from out of town and eat at a restaurant in Hernando, you're going to pay it as well," added Johnson.

Voters in Southaven passed a similar 1 cent tax a few years ago and leaders there are waiting on the governor to extend it for three more years. Hernando's mayor says leaders will discuss what the money would be spent on before any referendum.

The City of Hernando would have to call a special election to vote on the 2 cent tax, but that will not come until Governor Phil Bryant signs off on the bill.

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