Jackson County

Dining out in Pascagoula? You’ll pay a bit more

Pascagoula went back to the polls on Tuesday to vote on a tax that would add 2 percent to restaurant bills to support city recreation, like this park along the city’s waterfront.
Pascagoula went back to the polls on Tuesday to vote on a tax that would add 2 percent to restaurant bills to support city recreation, like this park along the city’s waterfront.

Pascagoula voters went to the polls in a second election Tuesday over a 2 percent tax on prepared food, and this time it passed.

The tax had to get a thumbs up from 60 percent of the voters and it got 61.3 percent — 2,145 people voted.

The total the city provided to the Sun Herald on Tuesday is not an official total because the city has yet to count absentee ballots.

Pascagoula businesses said the city did a much better job getting the word out to voters this time about how the tax would be used and who would benefit.

The first election in August cost the city about $11,000, but it failed to get the 60 percent. About 1,350 voted and 56 percent were in favor of the extra tax.

It was so close, the City Council decided to take another shot at establishing the tax, which will add 2 percent to bills in the city’s restaurants, fast-food establishments and delis. It does not affect groceries.

The tax will be used to support city recreation exclusively and it expected to generate $800,000 to $1.2 million a year.

It’s a user tax that supporters see as a way of letting people who live outside Pascagoula, but eat in the city during the work day, help pay for recreation for people who live there.

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