Slow go in Mississippi Go Zone…”little involvement with coastal reconstruction”

That according to theClarion Ledger which reports that the federal Go Zone program of tax breaks and tax-free bonds “has had mixed success in Mississippi with some of the intended help going to businesses far from the ravaged Gulf Coast.”

While Louisiana has allocated most of its nearly $8 billion bond
authority to more than 100 projects, Mississippi has allocated less
than one-fourth of the state’s nearly $5 billion bond authority,
according to Mississippi Development Authority records. And many of the
businesses approved for the program by the MDA are far from the
hurricane-hit Coast.


The biggest coastal business to benefit from a GO Zone bond is
Northrop Grumman’s operations in Pascagoula, which received approval
for a $200 million allocation. Another ship builder, Gulf Ship LLC,
received $30 million.

Northrop Grumman would not discuss its plans for the money raised through GO Zone bonds.


Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo said they were helpful in attracting new
businesses to the Coast, especially franchises. But he said they did
little to help the 42 businesses destroyed in downtown Waveland or help
establish affordable housing on the Coast, he said.

“(The GO Zone law) didn’t seem to be written to help small businesses,” Longo said.

Waveland is located in one of the 3 coastal counties hit hardest by Katrina. The Go Zone includes 49 counties or more than half of MS. A list of companies receiving Go Zone bond allocations isavailable at the CL link.

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