Sardis approves Tourism Tax

Published 8:36 am Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Citizens of the Town of Sardis approved a three percent tax to be added to regular sales tax on purchases made at restaurants and for lodging in a special election held Tuesday, May 3.

Unofficial results show that 86 votes for and 13 votes against constituted the polling. Those results are expected to be certified soon and the Tourism Tax will become law.

Because Sardis’ Tourism Tax provision had expired and was granted anew by the State Legislature this year, it also had to be approved by a majority vote of those casting ballots on the issue.

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Commonly called the Tourism Tax, and sometimes the “Hotel and Hamburger” tax, the levy is used by several state municipalities to collect funds specifically earmarked for tourism promotion and upkeep of parks and recreational facilities.

Sardis, like Batesville, collects the extra three percent tax (above the seven percent for the State of Mississippi), each time a hotel or motel room is rented or customers pay for meals at restaurants.

Sardis generally collects about $120,000 annually with the tax. The special levies must be approved by the State Legislature and have a life of 10 years, after which time lawmakers can grant renewal with a majority vote, providing all state elected officials votes to approve the renewals.