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Mississippi gives tax break to hotel tied to Trump company

MGN Online

Mississippi has granted a tax break worth just over $6 million to a hotel developer affiliated with the Trump Organization.

Posted: Feb 23, 2018 1:22 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi has granted a tax break worth just over $6 million to a hotel developer affiliated with the Trump Organization.

Mississippi Development Authority spokesman Jeff Rent confirmed Thursday that the agency's board approved the tourism tax rebate Wednesday for a hotel in Cleveland, Mississippi. The state offers developers a rebate of up to 30 percent of their investment.

The Scion at West End Hotel is being built by Chawla Pointe LLC, a Mississippi-based, family-run hotel company whose CEO is Dinesh Chawla.

President Donald Trump's company announced a deal with the Chawla family in June as part of the rollout of two new hotel chains, drawing complaints from ethics experts about potential conflicts of interest.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant is a supporter of President Trump, and appeared with him at the White House during a recent discussion of infrastructure funding. Bryant also oversees the Mississippi Development Authority and appoints its director. Bryant's spokesman, Clay Chandler, said the hotel project received no special treatment.

"Mr. Chawla's project has been in the works since before the presidential election," Chandler said Thursday. "He followed the same process as the other tourism rebate applicants. State law guides the application process, and state law alone will determine if any application is approved."

Approval of the tax rebate was first reported by the New York Times.

Chawla could not immediately be reached Thursday. He told The Associated Press in a Feb. 9 interview that he sees nothing wrong with his company applying for tax breaks.

"I'm not a legal scholar, but I'm an ethical businessperson," Chawla said. "I don't toss the word 'Trump' around. I don't ask anyone for favors."

Rent said about 25 projects in the past several years have been approved for tax rebates under the Mississippi Tourism Incentive Program. The Mississippi Development Authority Board on Wednesday also approved about $4.1 million in rebates for an entertainment complex that will be built in Jackson. Rent said decisions about the tax rebates are straightforward.

"You either qualify or you don't," Rent said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 294994

Reported Deaths: 6681
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19660230
Hinds18785386
Harrison16679278
Rankin12675264
Jackson12575226
Lee9683160
Madison9448199
Jones7945146
Forrest7204136
Lauderdale6833226
Lowndes6021137
Lamar587680
Lafayette5730113
Washington5218130
Bolivar4608123
Oktibbeha440993
Panola430394
Pearl River4159130
Warren4126114
Pontotoc408769
Marshall403192
Monroe3988126
Union395174
Neshoba3800168
Lincoln3539102
Hancock346974
Leflore3374118
Sunflower318386
Tate302474
Pike300095
Scott293670
Alcorn291761
Itawamba289675
Yazoo288762
Tippah278565
Copiah277757
Coahoma277568
Simpson274778
Prentiss269758
Wayne253741
Marion252578
Leake252471
Covington248879
Grenada247377
Adams234277
George231745
Newton229452
Winston221675
Jasper213245
Tishomingo212165
Attala206569
Chickasaw201151
Holmes181870
Clay179150
Stone172429
Tallahatchie170539
Clarke169371
Calhoun157828
Smith152731
Yalobusha144836
Greene127633
Walthall124140
Noxubee122829
Montgomery122238
Perry121634
Lawrence120221
Carroll118125
Amite111333
Webster110630
Jefferson Davis101731
Tunica99023
Claiborne98429
Benton93324
Humphreys92827
Kemper90123
Quitman77114
Franklin76019
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62426
Jefferson62327
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 493252

Reported Deaths: 9929
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson709861374
Mobile36108725
Madison32405455
Tuscaloosa24110410
Montgomery22565500
Shelby21929215
Baldwin19732283
Lee14961153
Morgan13659251
Calhoun13275286
Etowah13176319
Marshall11261209
Houston10086261
Elmore9376185
Limestone9359134
Cullman8891181
St. Clair8822223
Lauderdale8603211
DeKalb8446175
Talladega7517163
Walker6518255
Jackson6492102
Autauga626491
Blount6097127
Colbert6001118
Coffee5245102
Dale4640107
Russell404730
Franklin399177
Covington3957106
Chilton3870100
Escambia377472
Tallapoosa3585142
Clarke343650
Chambers3410110
Dallas3403141
Pike293372
Lawrence282984
Marion281895
Winston246767
Bibb245060
Geneva239670
Marengo235855
Pickens224654
Barbour211551
Hale209768
Fayette200256
Butler196166
Henry182441
Cherokee177038
Monroe166139
Randolph163640
Washington156535
Clay144354
Crenshaw144354
Macon142043
Cleburne137739
Lamar132833
Lowndes131051
Wilcox121825
Bullock116936
Conecuh106724
Perry105527
Sumter98331
Coosa88823
Greene87632
Choctaw55023
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