Jackson first county to use powerful tool

A powerful economic tool called tax increment financing has been used by Mississippi cities for years to attract new business, and now Jackson County is the first county in the state to receive that tool. It's all thanks to historic legislation passed Thursday by the state legislature. This new TIF designation will be centered around the Cook Road widening and expansion project in west Jackson County, which is well underway. With TIF in hand, the county can now borrow money to pay for infrastructure improvements for large businesses willing to locate along the corridor. Paying the money back is what TIF is all about. “The county can then divert 18.5 percent of sale tax to required infrastructure development for projects with a minimum threshold of $10 million of investment," said Jackson County Economic Development Executive Director George Freeland. The reason Jackson County is the first in the state to receive TIF designation? “The lieutenant governor and the legislature and the governor all have a degree or sense of confidence in our ability to execute on a large scale, be it commercial or industrial," he said. Jackson County Supervisor Troy Ross said it's a "monumental change in state government for counties." The bill now heads to Gov. Phil Bryant for his approval. He's expected to sign the bill into law. (Source: Sun Herald, WLOX-TV, 03/07/19)

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