Gulfport looking to expand tax abatements to encourage growth - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gulfport looking to expand tax abatements to encourage growth

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

The Gulfport City Council held a workshop Thursday to discuss creating more tax abatements in the city. City officials have offered tax breaks to businesses wanting to build along parts of Highway 49, in downtown and in the Mississippi City community since 2008, but now they are revisiting those plans.

"It's time to regroup and say we've had some really great successes redeveloping areas after Katrina," said Gulfport Business and Economic Development Coordinator Lisa Bradley.

"Now we need to look at what we want and what we want to incentivize."

City officials are happy with the businesses that did take advantage of the tax abatements, but now they are looking to expand the abatements to other parts of the city.

"We want to know what areas we need to incentivize in, and see what's not coming back the way that it should. Also, in areas that are doing really well, see what's missing."

Council President Ricky Dombrowski oversees the downtown area, and is proud of its growth, but he wants to see more businesses along the beach front.

"They need those incentives because the insurance rates are so high. They need some sort of incentive to come back and relocate on the beach area," said Dombrowski.

Council members hope by offering more tax abatements, unsightly slabs of concrete can return to booming beach front businesses.

"I'd like to see it expanded a little bit, because the area near Debuys road where you had Red Lobster, Ryan's and those guys, nothing has happened over there."

Right now the council is looking to add tax abatements to areas from Courthouse Road to Debuys Road and a few blocks west of Island View Casino.

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