Hotel tax would help fund parks’ improvements

Olive Branch residents headed to the polls Tuesday for a special election on whether to require hotels and motels in the city to charge an extra 1% levy on stays. The money received would go to fund park and recreation improvements.

The six regular Olive Branch ward polling places opened at 7 am and closed at 7 pm The Nichols Community Center serves 5,255 people, and by 2:25 pm, 164 people had come in to vote.

“It doesn’t sound like a big number, but it is,” said Pat Brady, a poll worker. “Sometimes we just see 40 people all day.”

Sixty percent voter approval is needed for passage of the tax. If approved, officials said it is expected to generate about $500,000 annually for use in local parks. Olive Branch officials launched www.people4parks.com to push for passage of the tax.

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