Wayne Farms granted tax exemption, despite recent layoffs

Wayne Farms granted tax exemption, despite recent layoffs
Laurel grants Wayne Farms tax exemption. Photo Credit WDAM

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - The Laurel City Council came to a decision on a tax exemption for Wayne Farms after months of waiting.

The city granted Wayne Farms a tax exemption for five years in the amount of just under $6 million.

The council delayed the vote a few weeks ago after the company asked for a $9 million tax break over 10 years.

Throughout the meeting, Mayor Johnny Magee referenced the nearly 600 employees that the company had laid off this year.

"Five hundred ninety-five people are out of jobs since January 16, according to your records," Magee said.

Mayor Magee said he would have wanted to see Wayne Farms come back in five years to reapply for the exemption.

"I would've wanted them to come back in five years, ask us again and show us that they've put more people back to work and then we could reconsider the decision," Magee said.

Representatives and employees of Wayne Farms were present during the meeting and spoke to the council about the more than 400 people who are still employed there.

The total amount of the tax exemption is $5,729,070.37 for five years.

The decision came down to a 5-2 vote.

The voting went as follows:

  • Ward 1 La’Juan Jones: No
  • Ward 2 Tony Wheat: Yes
  • Ward 3 Tony Thaxton: Yes
  • Ward 4 George Carmichael: Yes
  • Ward 5 Manuel Jones: Yes
  • Ward 6 Travares Comegys : No
  • Ward 7 David Wash : Yes