Local option sales tax bill headed to full House

A Mississippi House committee has given municipal officials what they’ve wanted for more than 20 years — a chance at passage of a local options sales tax.

The House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday approved a bill for a 1 percent local sales tax as a way to build parks, improve water systems and get crumbling streets back into shape.

Legislators have resisted local tax proposals for years.

House Bill 523 provides a local sales tax could be set only if there’s a city election and at least 60 percent of voters approve.

The bill would require cities and towns to spell out in any sales tax proposal to voters what the money — if approved — would be spent on.

Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, arguing for the bill, said cities cannot keep taxing homeowners and businesses to address infrastructure needs.