Tax rebates for retail development to end with failure of legislative extension.


Mississippi’s tourism tax development incentives failed to gain enough legislative support for renewal last week and will expire July 1, ending the state’s practice of awarding tens of millions of dollars as incentives for development of shopping malls and retail plazas.

The Mississippi Development Authority so far has awarded up to $155 million in potential subsidies for three shopping malls since legislators widened the sales tax rebate program last year to include “cultural retail attractions,” or what are more commonly known as retail centers and shopping malls.

Under the terms of the law, the state returns 80 percent of sales taxes collected at a development over 10 years, until the total collected reaches 30 percent of the construction price.

Lawmakers this week declined to extend the tax credits, thus letting them run out on July 1. House Bill 1233, sponsored by Rep. Rita Martinson, R-Madison, would have extended the program by three more years. After a lawmaker questioned the bill last week, it was moved to the bottom of the House calendar, where it remained without a call up.

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