Renaissance at Colony Park receives sales tax rebate extension - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Renaissance at Colony Park receives sales tax rebate extension

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
MADISON COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Mississippi Development Authority has granted a four year extension of a sales tax rebate for the Renaissance at Colony Park.

Money from the rebate could be used for expanding the shopping mall, but some local lawmakers and community leaders are not elated about the decision.  One of those lawmakers is State Senator David Blount.

"The taxpayers should not be on the hook to fund shopping malls,"  Blount explained.  "It's an issue that's being talked about right now in the legislature is whether or not the state taxpayers should continue to subsidize private shopping malls."

Without the sales tax rebate extension, the developer would have lost nearly $30 million dollar in rebates.  Senator Blount believes tax money should be used for other purposes.

"This is tax money, and taxes should go to fund the purposes of government: Infrastructure, public schools, public health. The budget is in a crisis we're cutting the military, we're cutting the blind and deaf schools," explained Blount.

Lawmakers are not the only ones against the Mississippi Development Authority's decision, local community leaders say that money could be used for other critical needs.

"The needs of the infrastructure for our state," said Johnson. "We have hundreds of bridges and roads that are in disrepair and we are valuing corporate tax giveaways over the infrastructure of this state." 

Johnson says the money could go to education or other state agencies, where it directly benefits the tax payers.

"Well it is a question of priorities," added Johnson. "We're seeing a legislative session like we've never seen before. We're cutting state agencies budgets, we 're cutting veteran affairs, cutting programs and yet we 're giving developers 30 million dollars." 

Efforts to block sales tax rebate extensions have so far failed in the legislature, but Senator Blount says there are lawmakers still fighting it.

"Well the Senate, in a bipartisan way, did vote to end the credit," said Blount. "The leadership in the House has requested that it stay in. They want to continue to fund shopping malls. That's got to be worked out this week,"  

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