Fulton voters to decide fate of tourism tax in upcoming special election

Mayor says 'Pennies for Parks' initiative would help city's future development and growth

FULTON, Miss. (WCBI) – Fulton voters head to the polls one week from Tuesday to decide the fate of a tourism tax.

Fulton Mayor Emily Quinn is halfway through her first term and believes the upcoming tourism tax vote is key to the city’s future growth and development.

“I know the potential Fulton has and this is what keeps me up at night, these ideas run through my mind, I’m like ‘I have two more years in my first term, what else can I get done?’,” Quinn said.

If approved, a 3% tax on food and beverage purchases inside the city would be levied. It’s estimated the tax could bring in between $550,000 to nearly $700,000 every year.

The initiative has been dubbed “Pennies for Parks”, but the tax would fund not only improvements in the city’s parks but beautification projects, tourism promotion, and recreation.

Quinn said another project could involve the old county jail. It’s sitting vacant on the square for about a year now since the new jail was opened.

“I’d like to knock down the old jail, sitting next to City Hall, and would like to make that a cool little green space and call it ‘Jailhouse Alley’, where we could have a lot going on there, incubator spaces for small businesses, pocket park or pocket museum,” Quinn said.

Quinn said improvements funded by the tourism tax have the potential to generate more money for small businesses.

“I was looking at a report and sporting events, entertainment events, bring in more revenue for counties and cities than some manufacturing does,” she said.

State law requires the initiative to get at least 60% of the total votes cast to pass.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6 for registered voters in the city of Fulton.

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