Harrison County supervisors on Monday tabled several requests for tax
breaks under a program designed to spur economic development along the
waterfront. Supervisors raised some questions and concerns about how the
tax abatement program should be applied.
One such development
that qualifies for a seven-year tax exemption is The Blue Crab House, a
project now under construction on the beach in Biloxi. The project has
already been granted a tax exemption from the City of Biloxi. But a
similar request of the county, sparked some discussion.
Crab House will create 40 to 50 new jobs and is expected to be open by
Memorial Day weekend. A representative of the owner told supervisors the
tax break provided a significant incentive for the project to proceed.
"Considering all the other costs of trying to build back on Highway 90 in Biloxi," Cliff Kirkland told the board.
raised questions about exactly what the tax-abatement law will allow.
For instance, can they grant just a portion of the tax exemption?
many jobs is it going to create?" asked Supervisor Connie Rockco, "And
this has no reflection on you. How many jobs is it going to create? Is
it going to be across the board, seven years for everybody? This way for
The tax-break applies to just the new structure, not the land. And it doesn't exempt school taxes.
need to consider the fact we're giving a total county exemption. And
maybe we need to look at proportional," said Supervisor Marlin Ladner.
don't disagree with that. But if that in fact is what we have done with
others, whether we knew we were or not," added Supervisor William
After some debate, supervisors tabled the restaurant's
tax exemption request, along with several others until questions can be
cleared up about the tax break law.
One thing appears certain.
applications are numerous, which means the program is working. We are
getting structures rebuilt, remodeled and added onto south of the
railroad, which is what this was intended for to begin with," said
Supervisor Kim Savant.
Friday, August 29 2014 4:50 PM EDT2014-08-29 20:50:26 GMT
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