McComb approves tax break for developments

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MCCOMB, Miss. (AP) — McComb selectmen will permit developers at two sites near Interstate 55 to recover construction costs through property tax reimbursements.

The Enterprise-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1hJyGC5) the board declared the two developments eligible for tax increment financing.

The properties on Anna Drive behind the Golden Corral restaurant and at the intersection of Interstate 55 and U.S. Highway 98 in south McComb.

Tax increment financing allows the city to reimburse developers through taxes the properties generate over a set number of years. The reimbursements would only take effect when construction is completed.

The board will hold a public hearing for both properties June 26 at 5 p.m., just before the start of its regular meeting.

City documents show RBR Development plans to convert a 140-acre tract along the eastern edge of Interstate 55 into a 192-unit apartment complex as well as restaurants, offices, a bank and a movie theater.

Plans for the Anna Drive property include a number of office spaces, retail plots, markets and restaurants.

Selectman Tommy McKenzie abstained from the RBR Development vote because his employer, Clark Construction, will be working on the project.

The city hired Laurence Leyens of Urban Development LLC as a consultant on economic development proposals. Leyens has worked with the developers and has previously dealt with TIF projects.

"This is a very common economic development tool used throughout the country. I've written a number of these throughout the state, and they really do offer a win-win-win scenario," Leyens said. "The developer can build public infrastructure faster and less expensive than government can, government can reimburse that developer only on the basis that there is economic development that occurs and creates taxes. You're basically leveraging future taxes against the debt.

The RBR property brings in $246 to McComb in property taxes as it stands, but estimates show it could generate $330,000 in tax revenue for McComb and a combined $1.3 million the city, county and McComb School District after development is completed.

The property along Anna Drive brings in $118 to McComb in ad valorem taxes, but if the property was developed, tax revenue is projected to increase to $93,000 for the city and $370,000 for the city, county and school district.

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Information from: Enterprise-Journal, http://www.enterprise-journal.com

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