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Hernando votes on 1% tax: frequently asked questions

By , Daily Memphian Updated: November 02, 2022 11:26 AM CT | Published: November 01, 2022 3:12 PM CT

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A grassroots blitz by Hernando business leaders promoting a 1% tax on prepared foods with the revenue earmarked for park and recreation improvements is in its final week. Read more on that effort here.

Hernando city officials have created a document to answer frequently asked questions about the proposed 1% tax.

Here is a sample of questions from the document.

If passed, when will the new sales tax go into effect?

The new sales tax will take effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

Will you give me an example on the increased cost of a prepared foods bill?

For example, if you spend $15.00 on prepared foods the 1% tax will cost you an additional $0.15 for your meal, if you spend $50.00 on prepared foods the 1% tax will cost you an additional $0.50 for your meal.

What is considered “prepared food”?

Prepared food means food or beverages prepared by a restaurant in the city that is ready to be consumed without any further preparation, alteration or repacking on-site; and prepared, provided, sold or served by a restaurant using any cooking, packing or food preparation technique.

I have heard of special taxes that never go away — is this tax like that?

No, if passed, this tax will be voted on at each municipal election and must receive a 60% majority vote to remain in effect. If passed, the citizens will vote for this tax again in April 2025 and every four years after that.

What if the special tax passes the vote in November but does not pass in a future election?

If the special tax passes in November, the city will secure a bond to cover the cost of Phase 1. If we do not pass the special tax in future elections, our general fund will bear the burden of the remaining bond payments. The city will have to implement other ways of funding to satisfy the debt obligation.

How do I find my voting precinct?

You can find your polling precinct here.

Why do we need an extra 1% tax on prepared foods?

Hernando citizens have been asking the city for many years to have improved parks and recreation facilities. Our city budget simply does not allow for the cost of major capital improvements such as building new sports fields, playgrounds and splash pads. The quality of the park amenities our residents experience and enjoy in other towns like Southaven, Senatobia, Oxford, and Starkville cost millions of dollars to construct.

Our city’s budget will never be able to provide the quality of park improvements our residents yearn for and deserve without an alternative public funding mechanism, such as this 1% tax. Increasing the tax on prepared foods by 1% should generate approximately $800,000 each year.

This will allow Hernando to improve our parks and recreation facilities to a level we will all take great pride in and add to our fantastic quality of life we enjoy in this community.


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