Revenue Options Weighed

Penny Tax
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Local option sales taxes or a restaurant tax were suggested as one way to raise additional dollars for municipal government but there were a wide variety of opinions.

Ward 1 Councilman, Dr. George Thomas, is in favor of the restaurant tax.

"Prepared food is an optional, it's not something people have to do," said Thomas. "Food, you've got to buy, but prepared food you don't have to buy. Prepared drinks you don't have to buy. Two or three percent on that in a municipality like Meridian would even perhaps allow us to lower some property taxes."

State Rep. Greg Snowden said he would like to do away with the sales tax on groceries.

"I've introduced a bill every year I've been in the legislature and will again this year to eliminate sales tax on groceries," Snowden said. "I think the sales tax can be really the fairest of taxes if you don't tax necessities."

City council president Mary Perry said she would like to lower property taxes and add a local option sales tax.

"I've asked for that. I've called different people in Jackson and said we need to lower the property tax and increase or give us a chance to ask for local option," said Perry.

District 1 supervisor Hank Florey said he wants the state to rebate some sales taxes to county government. They get none now.

"We have been asking for that for several years," said Florey. "Now any purchase outside of a corporate limit, in our county outside of Marion or Meridian, you know, there's no rebates back to county government."

Of the seven percent sales tax you pay today, 18.5 percent is rebated to the city where the purchase was made. The other 81.5 percent is kept by state government to fund its financial needs.