Sunday, April 10, 2016

You have to pass it to find out what is in it.

The Harrison County Board of Supervisors channeled their inner Nancy Pelosi last week and questioned an MDA deal that is supposed to bring one thousand jobs to the county.  The Sun-Herald reported on April 4:

The Harrison County Board of Supervisors asked the county attorney Monday to determine whether they can rescind tax breaks granted to Topship, saying they had been rushed into signing the document without proper information and under a veil of secrecy.

The Mississippi Development Authority, Mississippi Major Economic Impact Authority, Mississippi State Port Authority at Gulfport, Harrison County Development Commission, city of Gulfport and Harrison County signed a memorandum of understanding in February with Topship, a new affiliate of the global transportation company Edison Chouest Offshore.

In exchange for a $68 million investment from the company and the promise of 1,000 jobs by 2022, Topship received $36 million, state tax breaks and a 10-year property tax exemption from Harrison County that Supervisor Marlin Ladner estimated at $450,000. The city of Gulfport also approved a 10-year property tax exemption.

The memorandum also promises Topship a county tax break in perpetuity on personal property shipped out of state.

The supervisors, like the other entities involved, signed the document Feb. 8.

But Ladner said -- and other county officials agreed -- the secrecy from the state and the company made it difficult for county officials to know what they were signing.

When they voted to approve the memorandum at a February meeting, they didn't have the completed document in front of them. On Monday, in response to an agenda item that would simply spread the memorandum on the minutes, Ladner said he regretted signing it in the first place.

In lengthy comments, Ladner pointed to problems with the way the county grants tax breaks generally, and with this deal in particular.  "If I had seen this (the MOU) I would not have voted for it," Ladner said. "I guarantee you it will never happen again. I don't care who is coming in ... This is bull. I've got a problem with this."

Like Topship, Gulf Ship is an affiliate of Edison Chouest, operating in the Harrison County Industrial Park off Seaway Road. Gulf Ship received county tax breaks in exchange for the promise of 800 jobs. Current and former employees of Gulf Ship, as well as Ladner, said there are only around 120 jobs with the company now. At the company's peak there were perhaps 600-650 jobs, officials said.....
Rest of article.

Kingfish note: That was the news, now for the memorandum of understanding, understand?


Anonymous said...

Are there any repayment or recovery provisions in these deals if the jobs are never created? 2022 seems a long time to be waiting for the jobs to show up.

Anonymous said...

Gulfship,Topship.Nextship,Starship,ect. will get the same tax treatment.All they have to do is change the name and the promise. The Harrison County BOS fell for the hurry up and wait until 2022 to see what the new company will be named.Dunce caps on order.

Anonymous said...

Governor Pheel signed it, what more guarantees do you want?

Anonymous said...

I am not exactly sure what the problem is. Standard operating procedure for the three out of 5 that voted.

New supervisor is not qualified to run a lemonade stand. Being played like bongos at a rum festival.

The 2 other supervisors know exactly what they are doing. The one quoted in the paper realizes the cat is out of the bag, so he has decided to act indignant. The 3rd has had about 3 elective surgeries to many, on top of operating with deficit brain cell capacity for years.

Not sure where the other 2 were but the fact this vote would take place without everyone present, should have alarm bells going off.

The county attorney should have gone fishing several years ago.

Lots of rumors, lots of red flags.

Anonymous said...

10 year tax exemptions are SOP. Nothing wrong with that.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.

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