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House votes to earmark money for tourism ads

Published: Feb. 6, 2019 at 12:14 PM CST
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Mississippi House members are pushing for the state to spend more on tourism advertising. The House voted 111-5 Wednesday for House Bill 1102, which would earmark 3 cents worth of sales tax collections from hotels and restaurants for tourism advertising spending.

Rep. Becky Currie of Brookhaven says that would be worth about $11 million after a three-year phase-in. Currie says the Mississippi Development Authority now spends about $3.8 million on advertising, an amount that tourism advocates have long contended is not enough.

The measure also creates a five-member group to advise the Mississippi Development Authority on how to spend advertising money. The group would include three directors of local convention and visitor bureaus plus two representatives of restaurants and hotels.