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Tourism group faces stark future after restaurant tax ends

Leaders of a northeast Mississippi tourism group are planning cuts after lawmakers didn't renew a $2-million-a-year local restaurant tax.

Posted: Jul 15, 2018 11:17 PM

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — Leaders of a northeast Mississippi tourism group are planning cuts after lawmakers didn't renew a $2-million-a-year local restaurant tax. )

The Commercial Dispatch reports that the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau seeks to reduce spending to operate through year's end. )

The tax expired June 30. The last disbursement of tax revenue will come in August. )

The bureau has already cut two full-time employees and one part-timer. )

The group had $682,000 in the bank on May 30, one-third of its $2 million yearly budget. )

The bureau could eliminate $36,000 in funding to four local festivals. It must also decide how to pay a $5,000 monthly payment on a building. )

President DeWitt Hicks says he's confident the board can operate through the end of 2018, but he's unsure what will happen after. )

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