Hattiesburg approves tax credit plan to build safety complex

Hattiesburg approves tax credit plan to build safety complex

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg City Council approved a plan Tuesday to use tax credits to help fund construction of a new public safety complex.

"We are going to begin the process of to try to get some New Market Tax Credits," said Kim Bradley, Hattiebsurg City Council president. "We engaged Butler Snow. We will engage a consultant. The consultant will help us identify the institution that has the credits for sale, and we'll market this project to them. Hopefully, we'll be chosen to participate."

Bradley said because the federal credits were not funded last year, so they have "double the allotment this year."

"I feel real good about it," he said. "Anything that we can do to help lessen the burden of the cost of this building on the taxpayers, that's our job. That's what we're supposed to do."

The resolution passed Tuesday was updated to cap the amount of money the city spends with Butler Snow Law Firm at $25,000.

"The change (Tuesday) limits the amount of money that we can spend chasing this idea or chasing this dream," Bradley said. "I don't think it's really a dream. I think it's something that can be reality, but you have to keep things in perspective. I believe Butler Snow understood that. That's why they amended the agreement with us."

The council found out in May the complex would cost $38 million to build, not the $25 million it expected, and voted to cap construction costs paid for by the city at $32 million. 

New Market Tax Credits can save cities about 20 percent on construction costs, so Hattiesburg could save $7.6 million on this $38 million project, if the program is successful.