Ad valorem tax exemptions grantedBy BUSTER WOLFE,
The Hattiesburg City Council approved 13 of 14 ad valorem tax exemptions for major industries operating out of the Hub City at its meeting before the holidays, but the 14th one – Mar-Jac Poultry – will have to wait until the Jan. 4, 2018, meeting.
District 1 Councilman Jeffrey George said although he planned to approve the Mar-Jac exemption, he wanted more time.
“I expect to approve it, but I wanted to look at the details,” he said after the meeting.
The City Council voted 4-1 to table the exemption, with District 2 Councilwoman Deborah Delgado voting against the motion.
According to information proved to the City Council by Area Development Partnership Executive Vice President Todd Jackson, Mar-Jac’s employment has grown from 955 in 2010 to 975 in 2016. The company has made an investment of $2,913,838.50, with a tax exemption anticipated of $47,453.32 ($21,923.72 to the city). Its tax liability is $31,399.52 with $28,436.15 going to the Hattiesburg Public School District.
ADP added that Mar-Jac bought the facility from Marshall Durbin in 2014, the base pay at the facility has increased from $8.05 to $10.30 an hour and racking and lift machines have been added to reduce employee strain. A flash freezer to improve product quality and shelf life is among planned investments, including a paved parking lot.
The other 13 industries that received tax exemptions at Tuesday’s City Council meeting included:
• Kohler Engines – Increased employment from 556 in 2010 to 838 in 2016. Investment of $7,397,461.35. Tax exemption of $120,471.36 ($55,658.50 to the city) and tax liability of $79,715.04 ($72,191.83 to HPSD). Kohler plans to expand with a single-cylinder engine line and increase flexibility on its twin-cylinder engine lines. The annual payroll is more than $18 million.
• Western Container Corp. – Decreased employment from 142 in 2010 to 106 in 2016. Investment of $11,822,912.74. Tax exemption of $192,542.05 ($88,955.60 to the city) and tax liability of $127,403.71 ($115,379.81 to HPSD). The company has been in operation since 1998 and recently modernized the facility by adding three injection machines. The reduction has been primarily in its fleet of trucks.
• BPRex Closures, LLC (Berry Plastics) – Increased employment from 87 in 2010 to 98 in 2016. Investment of $1,603,057.31. Tax exemption of $26,106.59 ($12,061.40 to the city) and tax liability of $17,274.55 ($15,644.24 to HPSD). The company has never laid off an employee. Safety upgrades include using lifts instead of ladders and a new fire suppression system.
• Zeon Chemicals – Increased employment from 50 in 2010 to 51 in 2016. Investment of $1,106,469.82. Tax exemption of $18,019.41 ($8,325.08 to the city) and tax liability of $11,923.32 ($10,798.04 to HPSD). The company has improved employee safety with upgrades to surveillance system and fire suppression system.
• Mississippi Tank Company, LLC – Increased employment from 124 in 2010 to 125 in 2016. Investment of $1,974,091.72. Tax exemption of $32,149.07 ($14,853.07 to the city) and tax liability of $21,272.81 ($19,265.16 to HPSD).
• Wis-Pak of Hattiesburg, LLC – Increased employment from 69 in 2010 to 108 in 2016. Investment of $6,355,858.44. Tax exemption of $103,508.33 ($47,821.48 to the city) and tax liability of $68,490.73 ($62,026.82 to HPSD). The company diversified its injection molding capability with a blow molding line and reduced truck activity with a more efficient process.
• SPG Holdings, LLC – Decreased employment from 168 in 2010 to 143 in 2016. Investment of $4,174,136.51. Tax exemption of $67,977.90 ($31,406.20 to the city) and tax liability of $44,980.50 ($40,735.40 to HPSD). Hattiesburg Paper was purchased by Georgia Pacific, SPG and future business is bolstered by a new food service line and a retail napkin business.
• Green Bay Converting, Inc. – Decreased employment from 128 in 2010 to 120 in 2016. Investment of $1,561,388. Tax exemption of $25,427.17 ($11,747.51 to the city) and tax liability of $14,351.82 ($15,237.10 to HPSD). The company increased full-time employees from 88 to 100 and added a 43-person training room and a palletizer.
• Sofidel America Corp. – Increased employment from 66 in 2010 to 160 in 2016. Investment of $32,842,505.66. Tax exemption of $534,856.63 ($247,107.01 to the city) and tax liability of $353,910.84 ($320,510.01 to HPSD). The facility is ramping up ahead of schedule.
• York International Corp. (Johnson Controls) – Decreased employment from 202 in 2010 to 177 in 2016. Investment of $1,856,804. Tax exemption of $30,238.98 ($13,970.59 to the city) and tax liability of $20,008.92 ($18,120.55 to HPSD). Johnson Controls was recently purchased by global company Tyco and has added a third shift for more than 200 employees this year.
• Dirt Cheap Building Supplies – Increased employment from 683 in 2010 to 801 in 2016. Investment of $592,837. Tax exemption of $9,564.65 ($4,460.51 to the city) and tax liability of $6,388.41 ($5,785.50 to HPSD). The company is headquartered in Hattiesburg with more than 87 stores nationwide and eight in Canada.
• Excel Injection Molding – Increased employment from 54 in 2010 to 60 in 2016. Investment of $476,385.50. Tax exemption of $7,758.18 ($3,584.32 to the city) and tax liability of $5,133.53 ($4,469.05 to HPSD). The company has upgraded half of its equipment in the past five years and plans to replace the remaining equipment in four year.
• CCM Capital Assets, Inc. – Increased employment from 683 in 2010 to 801 in 2016. Investment of $3,871,007.88. Tax exemption of $63,041.30 ($29,125.46 to the city) and tax liability of $41,713.98 ($37,777.17 to HPSD).
• TOTAL EXEMPTIONS – Total employment from all companies: 2,924. Total investment of $78,548,704.43. Total tax exemption of $1,279,204.93 ($591,000.45 in first year to the city) and tax liability of $834,967.68 ($766,566.81 in first year to HPSD). Total payroll for all companies: $97,466,598.55.
Each ad valorem tax exemption will not exceed 10 years, starting on Dec. 31, 2017 and ending on Dec. 31, 2026.