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Supervisors disagree on displaying sports complex tax plan

The city of Vicksburg will be able to display information on the proposed sports complex and the 2 percent special tax to fund it in the lobby of the Warren County Courthouse.

Warren County supervisors Tuesday agreed to let the city place the display, which features an artist’s rendering of the sports complex with information about the project and the special sales tax on food and beverage sales and hotel room rentals in the city. Voters will decide the fate of the special levy in the June 6 general municipal election.

“It’s (the courthouse) is a public building; it’s not uncommon to do it,” said Board of Supervisors president Richard George. “We’ve done it before. Several different programs over the year (have) provided just information to the general public. There’s nothing out of order about that.”

But District 3 Supervisor Charles Selmon, who is a candidate for Vicksburg mayor, said having the display at the courthouse might have people believe the supervisors support the sports complex.

“On the other hand, if you’ve got a public issue in your home territory and you’re a public building owned by the same people who are voting on this, which is worse?” George said. “We don’t have anything to do with it anyway; it’s the city. We post the foreclosures every day. That don’t mean we’re in favor of somebody losing their property.

“It’s a public building. The only thing we don’t do is let dogs and gun-toters in.”

The Legislature in 2016 approved a local bill authorizing the city to levy up to 2 percent on hotel rooms and food and beverage sales pending voter approval in a referendum. Under state law, 60 percent of the voters voting in the election must approve the special tax, is expected to generate in excess of $1 million each year. Under the bill authorizing the tax, it ends once the park’s construction is paid.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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