Tax now off proposal

Published 12:18 am Friday, February 15, 2008

NATCHEZ — A cloud of confusion has settled around the proposed restaurant tax and hotel charge.

After this week’s aldermen meeting, attorney Walter Brown said he rewrote the proposal to not include the restaurant tax and to propose a $2 occupancy tax.

“I left the meeting with the response from the aldermen that maybe you need to take this out,” he said.

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Ron Riches, who is on the board of the Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau, confirmed that the restaurant tax is no longer part of the proposal.

“We want to unite the city and the people going out to dinner, 80 percent of the people that would be taxed would be locals,” Riches said.

What is still being proposed is the hotel charge.

Because the restaurant tax has been dropped, Riches said the occupancy charge will be raised to compensate.

Initially, the charge was to be $1 per occupied room but a $2 per room charge will now be proposed at the Feb. 20 meeting.

Walter Tipton, director of the Natchez Convention Center said he cannot speak for NCVB, but said he doubts the restaurant tax would have ever passed with the board of aldermen.