Gulfport officials said the city tax-incentive program is new to Mississippi. They are trying to bring businesses and residents back to the beach, where 2005’s Hurricane Katrina left so many empty lots.

“I think we’re the first ones” to offer the tax break, Urban Development Director Greg Pietrangelo said. “We had to go through extensive discussions with the Attorney General’s Office to make sure what we are doing is legal.”

The tax break is available for homes, multi-family housing and businesses south of the CSX railroad tracks.

There are parameters. The break applies only to new construction. To qualify, the minimum investment for a house is $400,000 facing the beach and $100,000 off the beach. Minimum investment is $1 million for commercial property and $3 million for multi-family housing.

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