Representatives passed House Bill 1149 Tuesday, which would send about $10.8 million in money collected from taxes voluntarily paid on Internet sales to cities. It goes to the Senate.
Two House committees passed House Bill 1110 — which would boost cities’ share of the 7-cent sales tax collected by the state by about $20 million a year — sending it to the full House.
“Our municipalities are having a tough time,” House Municipalities Committee Chairman Ed Blackmon, D-Canton, told House members while they were debating HB 1149. “They’ve been having a really tough time.”
The bill ultimately passed 92-23, but only after it survived various amendment attempts, including one to direct the money for school books.
“Are they having a tougher time than the schoolchildren of Mississippi?” Rep. Hank Zuber, R-Ocean Springs, asked Blackmon.
Cities have been trying to win authority to impose their own additional penny of sales tax, but lawmakers have consistently rejected that proposal. Mississippi Municipal League Executive Director Shari Veazey said many cities were struggling to pay for work on roads and other infrastructure, citing cities that borrow money just to repave streets.