Long Beach considers stretching city limits to boost revenue - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Long Beach considers stretching city limits to boost tax revenue


By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Long Beach is considering expanding its city limits. Right now city leaders say they are studying whether it's feasible to annex the Long Beach Industrial Park.

Sun Coast Contractors Supply is one of about two dozen businesses in the Long Beach Industrial Park. Despite its name, the park is not in the Long Beach city limits, but some local leaders say it should be.

"By annexing the Long Beach Industrial Park, that will provide us immediate revenue," said Ward 5 Alderman Mark Lishen.

City officials say should Long Beach annex the park, the estimated yearly tax revenue would be between $168,000 to $200,000.

Mayor Billy Skellie said, "It would be a financial thing for us. We certainly would increase in some taxes. It wouldn't be a total fix for our community, but it would be another part of a pie you're trying to make whole."

The mayor said the 405 acre site is already getting some benefits from the city.

"We already supply the fire department. That comes of the tax payers of Long Beach," said Mayor Skellie. "The police department, they're first responders there. The Sheriff can go there too, but our police are the ones closest. Right here in town. "

He said, "We're there right away so we're already providing services. We just would like to recoup a little of that."

City leaders say before moving forward with annexation, they're trying to figure out if Long Beach can handle the growth.

"We have to look at things like the water and sewer and the city streets," said Lishen. "We will inherit the city streets out there. What condition are they in? There are things we still need to look at before final decisions are being made."

Lishen said annexing the industrial park is one of the recommendations in the Long Beach Comprehensive Plan.

Mayor Billy Skellie said the city has already talked to some businesses about the possibility of annexation and plans to contact them all before deciding whether to move forward with the plan. The mayor said annexation would not dramatically impact what the businesses pay in taxes.

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