How losing tax incentives could affect D'Iberville galleria plans

How losing tax incentives could affect D'Iberville galleria plans
This is the proposed site for the galleria. (Image Source: WLOX News)
This is the proposed site for the galleria. (Image Source: WLOX News)
The shopping center would be just south of I-10. (Image Source: WLOX News)
The shopping center would be just south of I-10. (Image Source: WLOX News)

D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX)

It's been a few years since news first broke that D'Iberville would be home to a world class, million square foot galleria.

City Manager Bobby Eleuterius says they have every intention to break ground in 2016, but a recent bill passed in the state legislature could take away $98 million in tax incentives for the major development.

"The position of the City of D'Iberville on this issue is that we're going to wait and let the legislative process take its course," said Eleuterius.

The bill also kills tax incentives for new shopping centers in Ridgeland and Flowood. Eleuterius says if it does pass in the House, there is still hope they could keep the tax incentives due to an agreement with the Mississippi Development Authority.

"We have a copy of an order here from the Mississippi Development Corporation dated Jan. 11 2016, extending D'Iberville's project, not the other two, for 48 months," said Eleuterius.

Eleuterius says the Galleria project is important because Mississippi is losing out on $550 million in retail sales to Alabama and Louisiana.

"We know that, through our analysts in Pennsylvania, that this project alone would capture 45 to 50 percent of that which the state of Mississippi would get those retail sales tax," said Eleuterius.

Another reason leaders say it's important to keep the nearly $100 million in tax incentives - developers are already relying on it. 

"You can't let development come in here and commit to them and then at the last minute pull the rug out from under them," said Eleuterius. "We feel very strongly about this. Because of this extension by the MDA, we oughta be able to move forward with this." 

City leaders won't know for sure if they will be able to keep the money until the bill goes through the House. According to Eleuterius, the plan remains to break ground on the project either way, later in 2016.

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved.