Olive Branch voters to decide on hotel/motel tax to fund city’s park system – FOX13 News Memphis

WATCH: Olive Branch voters to decide on hotel/motel tax to fund city’s park system

OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. — Voters in Olive Branch, Miss., head to the polls Tuesday for a special election that could drastically change the funding for the city’s parks program.

Voters will decide on a hotel/motel tax. The 1% tax would be charged on hotel and motel stays to raise money for the city’s park system.

At least 60% of voters must approve the tax for it to pass.

If the referendum passes, there are a number of projects the money could be spent on.

According to Mayor Ken Adams, a citizens board has already recommended that the city could use more soccer fields, an indoor sports complex, and a new park in the newly annexed area.

Ophelia Summerville said she likes those ideas.

“Personally, I feel the parks are something the community needs as a place to venture out. As a person who is in their 70s, it is well worth the penny that I would invest. It’s just wonderful.” Summerville said.

If passed, the tax would generate about $500,000 a year in revenue for the parks system, according to the City of Olive Branch. People who stay in hotel rooms in the city would pay for it so that residents won’t see any increase in their tax bills.

“Exactly. So those in the community will not feel it. Like they said, it’s from tourists. I think it is a wonderful idea, and I think that people need to get out and vote yes,” Summerville said.

But Ron Frenn said that he is afraid any tax increase on hotels could hurt their business, and it’s unfair for them to carry the parks system.

“Well, I have never been in favor of penalizing hotels for things that the city budget ought to provide for,” Frenn said.

One man said he didn’t care either way and wasn’t voting for or against it, but Daniel Higareda said he likes the idea because he loves the parks, and locals won’t have to pay for the changes.

“I think it is worth it because it will bring more people to enjoy the parks and the city of Olive Branch,” Higareda said.

Voters can go to their regular polling locations to cast their vote on the single-issue ballot.

Six voting locations will be open from 7 am to 7 pm Tuesday.

Sample Ballot

Shall the City of Olive Branch, Mississippi, levy an additional sales tax of 1% on the gross proceeds of overnight room rentals at hotels and motels in the city for the purpose of providing funds to promote tourism, parks and recreation.

Voting locations:

WARD 1

Olive Branch Fire Station No. 2

7745 Craft Road

WARD 2

Summershill Fire Station

7600 Pleasant Hill Road

WARD 3

Nichols Community Center

10947 Highway 178

WARD 4

Olive Branch Fire Station No. 1

9289 Pigeon Roost Road

WARD 5

Olive Branch Fire Station No. 3

7750 Hacks Cross Road

WARD 6

Olive Branch Senior Citizen’s Center

8800 College Street


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