Residents oppose new Tax Comm. Building proposal - - Jackson, MS

Residents oppose new Tax Comm. Building proposal

More outcry Monday about a plan to build a 200,000 square foot office building in northeast Jackson.

Some people living in the Lakeland Drive and Ridgewood Road area say some lawmakers are blind-siding them with the proposed new state Tax Commission Office Building.

More than 1000 people gathered at the River Hills Country Club Sunday to organize a coalition to fight a proposed plan that would borrow $50 million to build the state facility.

"We're very concerned about the quality of like and in our neighborhood the encroachment of a state office building adjacent to the property of 53 homeowners," Lamar Nesbit of Eastbrook II Subdivision said. "We're also very disappointed in the lack of transparency over how this project has developed."

Homeowners say the plan includes clearing 9 acres of state owned land with trees that currently buffer their neighborhood.

They worry about increased traffic and lower property values.

Some critics say the plan to borrow $50 million in bond money was pushed through the legislature with little transparency.

Downtown Jackson Partners President Ben Allen says the state should consider other private sector properties already available.

"I wonder if the legislature would be for this if it was their money, wonder they be so willing to build a brand new building at a cost roughly what it could cost to get in the private sector and we are merely saying open the process up and see what it says," Allen said.

Allen says it could be much more cost effect to lease in Downtown Jackson, adding a $50 million bond costs taxpayers $3 million a year in interest alone.

With the furor about the mega building in Eastover, it lost a little steam Saturday night.

Monday afternoon Ward 1 City Councilman Quentin Whitwell introduced a resolution urging the legislation to take all of Jackson into consideration.

Meanwhile, lawmakers agreed to a provided $3 million to study the proposal.

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