(Tunica County, MS) Shirley Valentine and her new husband say they like Tunica for its reasonable prices.
"I just moved to Robinsonville, but I will be shopping in Tunica," she said.
But the Town of Tunica has begun taking a hard look at its tax and income structure, after county supervisors voted to cut the amount of casino tax money they’ve long agreed to share with the town.
"Based on what is taking place here in Tunica County with economic development, we just felt like it was time to make a change with the gaming revenue.”
Board President James Dunn cited the county’s need to build infrastructure and help with expenses of two huge new manufacturing plants that have located there.
He says the county needs some of the town’s money to keep its commitments.
Tunica Mayor Chuck Cariker will meet with supervisors to make his case next week.
He says a 50 percent cut in what the county pays to the town in gaming taxes makes up about one-third of the town’s total budget.
Cariker notes the town provides utilities to forty percent of the county and fire protection to 80 percent.
It might have to charge, or charge more, for those services.
But Dunn says the town has other alternatives.
"The Town of Tunica can take that approach, but keep in mind, there still exists no sales tax in the city limits.”
Already the county cut money for the town museum.
Dunn says these are tough times and gaming taxes are down, and everybody must tighten their belts.
People here hope the two sides can work out a compromise.
"I would hope so. I don’t know, but I hope,” said Valentine.
Mississippi lawmakers would have to approve any change in the casino tax revenue sharing agreement between Tunica County and the Town of Tunica.