Arts Center Funding Discussed

The city of Meridian has been given approval by the state to have a referendum on a two percent food and beverage tax, but the election is still not scheduled. It would have to be approved by 60 percent of voters in order to pass.

The money from the increase would be for the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center, slated to be built at Meridian's Bonita Lakes.

Meridian's Rotary Club heard from the center's executive director about what she sees as the "up" side of the funding proposal.

"You have a lot of tourists who eat in those restaurants and drink beverages, and they will be paying for this center, just probably over a third of the people who eat will do that, and if you were to have a $10 restaurant bill, you would only be paying 20 more cents for what we think is a wonderful project to benefit meridian economically," said Tabereaux.

Tabereaux said a capital building campaign will start soon.

A bond package for the center, through the state, is also on the agenda for a special session of the Legislature.