Columbia voters will decide on a 3 percent restaurant and hotel tax for park improvements and tourism promotions in a referendum Monday.
Marion County Circuit Clerk Janette Nolan, whom the city is contracting with to help oversee the vote, said most everything will be the same as a normal election except that paper ballots will be used rather than electronic voting machines.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday at the four municipal voting precincts: the Columbia-Marion County Public Library, Jefferson Middle School, City Hall and the Expo Center.
Absentee balloting has been going on at City Hall, and Nolan said that as of Thursday morning 25 absentee ballots had been cast.
A 60 percent majority is required to approve the tax.
The additional 3 percent sales tax on dining and lodging would generate about $750,000 per year, according to Mississippi Department of Revenue statistics. It would be used to build a youth sportsplex, which is proposed for RA Johnson Drive, as well as make improvements to existing parks and other tourism-related projects, including the downtown Christmas lighting.
Nolan said the paper ballots will be counted at the precincts and then the poll managers will return them to City Hall. City Clerk Maria Temples will certify the results, Nolan said.