1 % Sales Tax Hike Debate in Jackson - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

1 % Sales Tax Hike Debate in Jackson

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

In January, if you live in Jackson, you will vote on a 1 percent sales tax increase. Jackson officials say they need the extra revenue to help with a series of water, sewer and road projects.

Sunday night, those officials hosted a town hall at Pearl Street AME Church to better explain what the extra revenue will be used for. The mayor hopes to generate about 15 million dollars per year and 340 million over the next 20 years.

"We are serious about building a new Jackson," said Jackson's Mayor, Chokwe Lumumba. "The extra revenue will draw in more businesses and help with Jackson's infrastructure like its drainage and sewer system.

We've seen our fair share of problems with the water system in the city. In the last year, Jackson has seen 120 boil water advisories.  

"What's causing it is old pipes, we have 100 year old pipes, same thing that froze in 2010 is the shutdown of the whole water system so those are the major problems," Mayor Lumumba explained.

The tax will be on everything except groceries, prescription medications and hotel lodging.

Some people who attended Sunday night's Town Hall had some concerns about the increase, like Darell Barry, who wanted some answers since he is already paying a 2 percent sales tax for Jackson's Convention Center.  

"Could that 2 percent be moved over to fix the roads and the infrastructure in Jackson," said Barry. "With that 2 percent increase and then another 1 percent increase it could affect a lot of people's budgets."

Mayor Lumumba stresses to those struggling to make ends meet that won't happen.

"This tax is not as oppressive for people with limited money as it would be if the had to pay an additional tax on groceries, or medication those are the two vital areas where people on fixed income needs some help on,"

Residents will vote on January 14th.  To get Jackson's water system the way it should be, Mayor Lumumba said it will cost more than 500 million. He says this tax will certainly help get the ball rolling on that debt.

Jackson officials will host another hall meeting Monday night at 6:00 p.m. at Anderson South United Methodist Church.

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