SOUTHAVEN, Mississippi — Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite said the city’s tourist tax is under threat, and the threat comes from DeSoto County itself.
Darren Musselwhite told FOX13 he believes the city’s tourist tax is in jeopardy due to the voting results of three DeSoto County House representatives in the Mississippi Legislature.
“DeSoto County, unfortunately, has three home reps: Steve Hopkins, Dana Criswell and Dan Eubanks,” Musselwhite said.
Musselwhite said the three have repeatedly voted against local tax bills from other communities across the state, and that’s because members of the house are seeking to reciprocate as the town hall tax of Southaven must be renewed.
“What’s happening now is the House of Representatives, they’re retaliating against us in DeSoto County, and they want to vote against our bill to punish those three,” Musselwhite said.
Musselwhite also said the hotel and restaurant tax generates $2.7 million a year that goes to parks, which in turn attracts more tourists to things like the Dizzy Dean World Series in Snowden Grove.
Tammy Smith doesn’t like the idea of losing the funds.
“I’m not arguing that we need this,” Smith said.
Those FOX13 spoke to who use the parks said they were creating a valuable asset for Southaven.
“Well obviously it’s about the kids and the family dynamics in Southaven. We’re big on it,” Tamera Letterman said.
The mayor said the tourist tax didn’t make sense.
“It’s an easy decision. You have people traveling here to use our parks and amenities. Why don’t you let them pay? Musselwhite said.
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