Friday, Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. removed the request for a 1% sales tax from his list of items for the Mississippi Legislature.
In a brief email to city clerk Walter Osborn Jr., Flaggs said he “is doing this due to the board not unanimously approving before moving forward, as has been the policy in the past.”
The mayor indicated that he has a 99% approval record with aldermen Alex Monsour and Michael Mayfield.
The mayor’s decision to remove the item came at the behest of Monsour.
Essentially, Monsour feels that city residents have been through enough with COVID-19 this year.
“Since I’ve been here, we have not increased taxes in the City of Vicksburg,” Monsour said. The city did request the 1% increase from the Legislature in 2019, but that was before revenue decreases caused by COVID-19 restrictions.
“We were at a record pace,” Monsour said. “Everything was rolling just fine,” before the pandemic hit.
“The taxpayers really cannot take on any more burden,” he added. “…I just think it’s inappropriate right now.”
The mayor believes the tax will be necessary in the future.
“I still believe that in order the move the city forward, you’ve got to have capital improvements in order to compete with the other municipalities that are in close proximity,” Flaggs said. Specifically, the mayor is looking at the city’s aging water infrastructure that is nearing capacity. The system could hamper the city’s ability to grow, he said.
Correction: A previous version of this story said that the Vicksburg Warren School District will ask for an increase in ad valorem taxes. That was not an accurate statement.