As someone who has spent hours talking to the people directly involved with this situation and on both sides of the issue, I have some sincere questions for citizens because I would like to see a resolution here and understand the situation better.
1. If your main issue with the Penny for Your Parks tourism tax is that you feel all parks in Southaven are not funded equally or in a fair manner, then is NOT supporting the tax the best way to address this matter? If there is no tax, then you lose that money altogether. Would it not be better to keep the tax then fight the city on their spending or vote against anyone that doesn’t support allocating those funds the way that you believe they should be? No money, more or less, ensures that the other parks won’t get additional funding and losing funding for the park that generates funding for both hurts the city. I have been advocating for the west side of Southaven for quite some time now and fighting the neglect of the schools in that area, so I understand completely the feelings of those who live in that area and want their parks to be improved. I just wonder if losing the tax is the way to address this issue and would love to hear alternative solutions.
2. There has been a lot of debate over the tax as though it is being forced upon the people, but is that really true? No one forces anyone to eat out or stay in a local hotel. Those are most certainly luxury items. How many people go to Malco to see a movie and pay $4-$5 for a coke or popcorn which is highway robbery, but it is something that people do every day. The inflation of those items is widely accepted and grossly more inflated than a 1% tax on a $50 tab which equals only $.50. So why is this tax being viewed as one that is forced upon you? Is the real issue here more about a general distrust in government or being tired in general of excessive taxation and a pushback against that?
3. For those that say they will drive to Horn Lake, OB or Hernando to eat, have you not spent more in gas money to drive the extra difference than pay the 1% tax?
4. If your argument is that you can’t afford to eat out so the tax matters, then is that not a personal issue that has nothing to do with whether or not the tax exists? And in no way do I mean this question to be ugly or offensive. Just food for thought.
For those that are against the tax, I would love to hear alternate solutions, bc I haven’t heard any to date.
For those in support of it, what solutions do you have for addressing the concerns of those that don’t support it and for their various reasons?
For the record though, I believe that this matter has no business being decided in the state legislature and should be decided at the local level. No one in DeSoto should be making these decisions for The People of Biloxi no more so than The Representatives of Hinds County have no business making these decisions for Southaven. Just my thoughts.