“One cent” plan could help county governments

Published 7:00 am Friday, January 9, 2015

Outgoing supervisor Anthony Hales has served on the county’s board of supervisors for close to 30 years.
Recently he has started advocating for the ability of the county to collect one cent of every dollar worth of sales tax revenue.
Sales tax revenue collection has been a benefit to city budgets for years. Picayune and Poplarville both receive money through sales tax that is used in their general budgets.
Currently there is no avenue for county governments to receive the same benefit, leaving them to rely on property taxes and other revenues.
While this plan is far from being set in stone, especially since the supervisors would need state approval to implement such a change, it could mean lower taxes on property.
Most homeowners would not object to paying less tax on their property. Ultimately, it’s the property owners putting money into the county coffers.
Such a change, if approved, would allow everyone to put in their fair share, and spread the load evenly.
Some people may object to paying more tax when they purchase their items, but keep in mind, everyone who travels across state lines to purchase items in Louisiana is already paying more tax than they do when they shop in Mississippi.
Taxes in St. Tammany Parish Louisiana on purchased goods range from a low of 8.75 percent, to a high of 9.75 percent, depending on what city or business they shop.
That’s an increase from the seven percent shoppers pay when they spend their money in Pearl River County.
Additionally, when prepared food is purchased in Picayune, patrons are already paying an additional cent on the dollar to help retire a debt the city incurred when they renovated Friendship Park years ago.
Whether Hales’ idea will ever come to fruition is still unknown. But on the face of it, it seems to be a good idea.

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