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Booneville mayor wants to offer tax incentives

Reported by: Susan Parker
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Updated: 3/21/2014 9:00 pm
BOONEVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) -- Mayor Derrick Blythe is not a fan of business as usual.

"We can't keep doing the same thing expecting different results," said Blythe.

He wants to fill 15 vacant buildings in the downtown area and improve the overall look of the central business district.

"I think it's pretty sad to see all these buildings running down, and something does need to be put in some of these buildings," said Booneville resident Wanda Weaver.

"We love Booneville. So, we would shop more around here. But, there's not that many places to shop at, so we go to Corinth, Tupelo, and Columbus," said Booneville resident Debbie Friar.

That's not what April Greenway wants to hear.

She opened G&G's Boutique two weeks ago.

"If you want businesses to grow and thrive, you're gonna have to give them some support and help when they're getting started," said Greenway.

That is exactly what may take place soon.

The mayor is calling on the Board of Aldermen to support an ordinance which would offer tax incentives to those willing to invest in an existing business or in a new one.

"You've got to lay something on the table for them. They are not needing us. We're needing them," said Alderman Jeff Williams.

"I think it's a good idea. We lose the businesses. I think that would give them incentives to move here," said Alderman Harold Eaton.

Those who invest $50,000 will have their current property tax rate frozen for three years. An investment of $100,000 will lock in that rate for five years, and $150,000 will buy them seven years.

"We're gonna have it appraised before you do the investment, have it appraised afterwards, and you're not gonna pay any more taxes than what you were paying when you started the project," added Mayor Blythe.

That's a big step up from what the city offers now.

An investment only gets a $100 tax break.

Mayor Blythe says the owner loses that when the property is immediately appraised after the work is done.
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