Ridgeland wants to increase tourism tax


RIDGELAND — City officials have approved a resolution petitioning the state Legislature to allow them to consider a change to the tourism tax the city collects.

The unanimously approved resolution passed 6-0 on the consent agenda with Ward 1 Alderman Ken Heard absent. 

Alderman-at-Large D.I. Smith said that this is an early step to allow the city board to consider a change to the city’s tourism tax for the purpose of promotion, advertising and improvement of the attributes of the city that relate to tourism, parks and recreation.

“Basically we are asking the Legislature for a local option to make a tourism tax change,” Smith said.

Smith said that he was not sure what a change would look like but did say that they hoped to raise money to make improvements at the city’s parks and recreation facilities.

“It is so early in this process we are basically just asking for the Legislature to allow us to consider further options,” Smith said. “If we get approval from the Legislature there will be a lot more discussion.”

Ridgeland currently has a 1 percent tourism tax on hotel rooms and restaurants and the proceeds go to the Ridgeland Tourism Commission. 

For Fiscal Year 2019, the latest information available, Ridgeland had generated over $1.7 million in tourism taxes.

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