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Hotel Tax for Russell Bldg Renovation dies

Friday, April 5, 2013, 9:23 am News Flash Archive

Both bills introduced to allow a sales tax on hotels in Greenwood died in committee yesterday, ending all hope for this year that tax money can be collected from visitors to Greenwood to pay for renovation of the dilapidated Russell Warehouse in downtown Greenwood.

The City had purchased the Russell Building from Lee Abraham with money from the Greenwood Utilities. At the time, promoters of the plan to renovate the building into a conference center claimed that grant money would finance the costly renovation.

But soon they were asking for a sales tax increase to pay for the renovation. Proponents, including Bill Crump, Angela Curry, and Mayor Carolyn McAdams, claimed that such a tax would not burden city residents, since it would only be imposed on hotel and motel guests, who are primarily persons visiting or doing business in Greenwood from out of town.

Senator Lydia Chassaniol and Representative Linda Whittington introduced the local and private legislation to allow the tax to be levied, subject to a referendum, in the Senate and House respectively.

But with the adjournment of the Legislature yesterday, both bills died in their respective committees without the house or senate ever taking final action on them.

Therefore, the people of Greenwood, and their visitors and friends, are safe from a sales tax increase for at least another year.

Interestingly, three other communities, Louisville, Fulton, and Horn Lake, did obtain approval to impose hotel/motel taxes during this legislative session.

In addition, the towns of Pascagoula and Gautier obtained approval to levy, or extend the levy, of sales taxes on restaurants.

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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