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Mississippi cities are ramping up pressure on state lawmakers to give towns more tools to raise money for major capital projects.

The Mississippi Mayors Summit has endorsed legislation that would allow cities to impose a special local option sales tax if 60 percent of voters approve.

The taxes would be for a set period of time and would pay for specific projects ranging from industrial parks to road and drainage work to cultural centers.

Cities have pushed the idea for years but is making a concerted effort this year as cities search for new financing tools.

“Because we’re all hurting as communities and we need to be able to do those extra things to build the economic development and growth of our communities,” explained Meridian Mayor Cheri Barry.

The anti-tax Legislature has been unwilling to approve the measure, fearing it would be seen as a tax increase.

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