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City, county want part of internet tax

By Jebb Johnston

jjohnston@dailycorinthian.com

Corinth and Alcorn County leaders are backing a push to encourage the state to divert a portion of internet sales tax back to local communities.

The Board of Aldermen and Board of Supervisors both passed resolutions this week regarding what is often called the "use tax." While counties do not receive a diversion from regular sales tax, they are seeking a slice of the internet sales tax.

It follows the state's agreement with Amazon to collect sales tax on Mississippi purchases and the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing states to tax internet sales for companies that do not have a physical presence in the state as well as those who do.

"I'm asking you to reach out to your state folks and tell them to let the counties, let the cities put that in the general fund so we can address the needs we have here locally," said Ward 3 Alderman Chip Wood. "We don't need people in Jackson telling us what we need to do here in Corinth."

While municipalities receive 18.5 percent of the sales tax collected within their boundaries, the state is currently not sending any portion of the internet sales tax back to the cities where the purchases were made.

The Mississippi Municipal League is lobbying for the internet sales tax to be treated the same as regular sales tax. At a minimum, the MML argues, the Legislature should set aside a portion of all use tax to be diverted to cities on a per capita basis to be used for water, sewer and street infrastructure.

Mayor Tommy Irwin said it is greatly needed for further infrastructure improvements.

"Without the fix, people are not going to invest in the community," he said. "We've got so much more to do, and, unfortunately, it requires money."