Hernando “Penny” bill moves forward

A step was taken this week in the Mississippi state Senate to allow Hernando to levy a tax on restaurant sales, similar to what is currently being done in Southaven.  

The Hernando “Penny for the Parks” local and private bill, labeled Senate Bill 3209 and authored by state Sen. Michael McLendon (R-Hernando), with additional authors state Sens. Dr. David Parker (R-Olive Branch) and Kevin Blackwell (R-Southaven), moved forward on a 52-0 vote.  

Hernando Alderman Chad Wicker Saturday morning posted about the bill’s passage on his Facebook page, saying he believed it to be a good bill and different from other local and private bills.  

“In short It would call for a referendum to be held in November 2022 and then again in July of 2025 and every four years in accordance with municipal elections,” Wicker wrote. “If the referendum receives 60 percent or more support for the tax.” 

Wicker noted the levy on “prepared food” sold in the city, essentially restaurant sales, would be no more than one percent with the funds helping generate revenue for capital improvements to Hernando’s new or existing parks.  

“Hopefully, we can get this bill through the house and give the people the choice on how to fund their park and recreation department,” Wicker wrote.  

Senate Bill 3209 now goes to the House of Representatives, where its reception is still to be determined, however.  Local and private bills from DeSoto County have been met somewhat coldly as some House members from DeSoto County have voted against similar legislation from other parts of the state.

That was noted by recent comments from Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite, with his concerns about the possibility of his city’s “Penny for the Parks” legislation being continued this session. The “Penny for the Parks” in Southaven has garnered about $2 million annually for parks and recreation improvements. 

You can read the text of the Hernando bill, Senate Bill 3209, on the Mississippi Legislature’s website.  

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Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob provides content for DeSoto County News and occasionally is heard on the OB Pod podcast talking about area happenings. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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