Laurel voters overwhelmingly approved the 3 percent tax on hotels and other short-term rentals, the proceeds of which will be used to promote tourism in the city.

Seventy-three percent of voters — 508 total — were in favor of the tax, while 27 percent (187) voted no as the tourism tax won six of the city’s seven wards. The 73 percent approval of the tourism tax on Tuesday by the citizens of Laurel proves that they want to continue to fuel the tourism industry that is continuing to  grow daily in the city, Mayor Johnny Magee said.

“We thank our legislative leaders for all their hard work in Jackson by putting this in place and we thank the citizens for agreeing with our plans for growing tourism in our city,” Magee said. “We appreciate the confidence that has been shown in us.”

Magee said he was certain that those who want to see the city continue to prosper will be pleased with the results of the passage of this referendum.

Funds raised by the tax will be used to help cover the costs of developing a wel- come center and a museum that highlights the history and culture of the city at the Interstate 59 exit to Leontyne Price Boulevard at the beginning of what’s been called the “Gateway to Downtown” project.

City Clerk Mary Ann Hess said there were no major problems in voting other than people being confused about which precinct to vote.

“This is a city election and those who voted had to go to a different precinct than the election last week, so that caused some confusion,” she said.



Ward For Against

Ward 1.........43 ........... 23

Ward 2.......131 ........... 25

Ward 3.......129 ........... 30

Ward 4.........20 ........... 28

Ward 5.........66 ........... 26

Ward 6.........74 ........... 19

Ward 7.........45 ........... 36

Totals 508 187

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