Hattiesburg City Council President explains tax exemptions

HATTIESBURG,MS (WDAM)-   The Hattiesburg City Council exempt nine businesses in the city from Ad Valorem Taxes, but council president Kim Bradley says its important to note the exemptions are not for retail businesses.

"These businesses are manufacturing by nature. They are manufacturing a product that is going to be distributed, shipped off and assembled somewhere else. They don't compete against each other," said Bradley.

Nine manufacturing businesses including Kohler Company, Rexam Closure Systems and Western Container Corporation are among the businesses approved for the 10 year exemption period.

"They are bringing that cost to us that is subject to municipal tax. They are asking us to exempt them, abate the tax so that they can employ our people," said Bradley.

Bradley added the exemption is not indefinite.

"At the end of that ten years you don't come back and ask for it again. It has already been expensed. Its depreciated. It has run its life. Hopefully, in that time frame, when that ten year exemption is up they have invested more money. Replacing some of that equipment or expanded their building to create more jobs," said Bradley.

A possible concern is the city could lose money from the exemption, or miss out on an opportunity to collecting funds.

"We are not missing out. I think it's a concession that we make. We might tell them one year that we are not going to give them abatement, and they may pay us the 10, 20 or $50,000  but then the next time they come around and they are going to do an expansion they will go to one of their other facilities. Then we may lose jobs," said Bradley.

Bradley says allowing these exemption will create a certain atmosphere in Hattiesburg for manufacturing companies.

"We want to create an environment where businesses will want to come and make their home, and employ our people," said Bradley.

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