LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - Laurel-based company Howard Industries is receiving a $9 million tax exemption.
The city council approved the exemption on ad valorem during Tuesday's meeting.
Mayor Johnny Magee said there seems to be confusion from residents about why the company is getting the tax break.
"Some citizens have distorted views about what these exemptions are," Magee said. "They are not exempted $9 million. They are exempted $9 million worth of equipment or whatever their ad valorem is."
Mayor Magee said this will help local businesses with fees to expand.
He said Howard Industries is actually paying more this year than they have in years past.
"The city of Laurel last year put in an additional 9.4 percent that cannot be exempted because it's going toward Fire and Police Departments," Magee said.
The mayor says Howard Industries employs thousands, and they're a huge asset to the city.
"They could be anywhere in the country doing the things that they do, but they choose to be here in Laurel Mississippi," Magee said. "We're glad they're here."
He said it's important to maintain a business-friendly environment for all major companies in the city.
"This helps create jobs," Magee said. "It creates stimulus for our economy here in Laurel."