Smith Proposes New Tax

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Meridian's mayor said Wednesday he will ask the state legislature to approve a new local sales tax.

The proposal for a 2% tax on prepared food and beverages would be designated for the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center.

"We will support, and I think you will see the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center, the EMBDC, the City Council and would certainly hope the Board of Supervisors, would support such a food and beverage tax that's paid by the visitors, by and large, to the city of Meridian," said Mayor John Robert Smith.

The tax would not apply to food and beverages bought in grocery stores, but only in restaurants.

A similar plan a number of years ago received 56% approval in a referendum vote. However, such measures need 60% approval to pass.