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Mississippi lawmakers hope to widen property tax break

Article 4, Section 48 protects lawmakers from arrest for certain actions before, during and after the legislative session.


Mississippi lawmakers want to open one of the state’s richest tax incentive programs to smaller projects, in hopes of helping the state recruit more businesses.

Senate Bill 2479 , which passed the Senate on Thursday, awaits Gov. Phil Bryant’s signature or veto. It would allow local governments to cut local and school property taxes by two-thirds on economic development projects worth $60 million or more.

Right now, the project must be worth $100 million or more to qualify.

Although any one piece of real estate or equipment can only get a break for 10 years, the bill says industries would get to use the abatement on expansions for 30 years, up from the current 20 years.

"This is a very positive bill that will enhance our economic development efforts in Mississippi," said Chad Newell, president of the Hattiesburg-based Area Development Partnership. "We obviously work on more $60 million deals than we do on $100 million deals."

Called a fee-in-lieu of taxes agreement, the reduction can be worth tens of millions of dollars to the largest industries. Madison County, for example, reduced Nissan Motor Co.’s property taxes nearly $70 million from 2004 to 2015, according to figures provided by the Madison County tax assessor to The Associated Press.

Right now, for developments worth less than $100 million, cities and counties can abate taxes for 10 years, but can’t cut school property taxes. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Joey Fillingane, a Sumrall Republican, told senators Thursday that a company was considering building a $70 million-plus distribution center on the Jones-Forrest county line near the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport, but it was too small to meet the current threshold. He said county supervisors were willing to cut taxes, but "they simply just didn’t have the legislative authority."

The Mississippi Development Authority lists only eight projects that it has assisted since 2010 that fall in the $60 million to $100 million bracket, but Newell said there are others, such as three recent solar farms built near Hattiesburg, that also would have qualified.

"There are real projects out there looking to come to our areas that would use this," Fillingane said.

Some lawmakers and economic recruiters had favored lowering the threshold to $20 million, which would have opened the break up to many more developments, but lawmakers ultimately rejected that.

A few lawmakers questioned the move, though, asking if it would mean higher taxes for homeowners and small businesses.

"Are you concerned that the school districts are going to raise taxes on everybody to make up for this reduction?" asked Sen. Angela Hill, a Picayune Republican.

However, using reasoning common to economic incentive deals in Mississippi, Fillingane suggested it would be better to get some revenue from an expansion than to lose out entirely.

"A break on something is better than nothing," Fillingane said.

David Rumbarger, president of the Tupelo-based Community Development Foundation, said the fee-in-lieu arrangement also allows local governments to use the revenue they do get to finance infrastructure improvements.

"The idea is for more projects to be competitive on a state-to-state basis," Rumbarger said. "If you’re able to compete for the project and get the fee in lieu, it’s newfound tax revenue."

The measure also includes a special provision that would allow Winston Plywood & Veneer to count federal disaster relief money received after a tornado struck Louisville in 2014 to qualify for the tax exemption threshold.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Neil Shekhter on Los Angeles Isnt Building Enough Housing

LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / February 27, 2018 / According to a recent report from the state Department of Housing and Community Development, a large majority of California’s urban areas, such as Los Angeles, aren’t giving approval for the construction of sufficient housing.

As a result of this situation, state housing authorities are now requiring that cities ease the process for developers to get approval for new construction projects that include affordable housing units.

During the last forty years, California’s municipalities had the responsibility of setting housing goals every five to eight years as a way of making sure that enough new homes are built to meet the demands of a growing population. Unfortunately, according to the state’s recent report, very few cities are meeting the goals they’ve set.

So far, it has been determined that only 13 cities have made a sufficient amount of progress toward meeting their housing construction targets for 2017. 526 other cities haven’t and will now be required to fast track the approval of some new housing development projects.

Under a new law which took effect at the beginning of 2018, cities must speed up the review of developments made up of at least ten percent affordable housing units if they’ve failed to meet their objectives for market rate housing. Municipalities that met their targets for market rate housing but haven’t met the requirements for new affordable housing units will nee to streamline the review of projects in which at least half the housing units are affordable to low-income residents.

While Los Angeles is expected to meet its overall new housing construction objective by issuing permits for nearly 82,000 new homes by 2021, the city hasn’t met its goals when it comes to the construction of enough affordable housing units. Out of 45,820 new units the city has issued permits for since 2014, less than ten percent are classified as affordable to low-income residents.

As the city is very much behind schedule with regards to new affordable housing, planners must now streamline the approval of projects which include 50 percent or more affordable housing units. Some other cities in California, including Burbank, Long Beach and Santa Monica, will need to fast track development projects with ten percent or more affordable units.

The lack of affordable housing in the city of Los Angeles has been an ongoing problem for several years. A recent report by the California Housing Partnership Corporation estimates that the city now requires the construction of over 500,000 new affordable housing units in order to meet the current level of demand.

Launching NMS Properties in 1988, Neil Shekhter assumed the role of CEO in January 1995. The real estate management company focuses on multi-family and mixed-use properties in the Greater Los Angeles area and in Santa Monica. At present, NMS properties manages more than 70 properties.

Over the course of 2017, NMS deployed 40 furnished units in Los Angeles, and Neil Shekhter plans to triple that number in 2018. The company currently manages some of the its properties while testing a pilot with MY SUITE.

Neil Shekhter – Founder and CEO of NMS Properties
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NMS Properties – Real Estate Management Firm:

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SOURCE: NMS Properties, Inc.

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Amalgamation and Designing Apartments Hattiesburg Ms for Affordable Housing

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College Baseball Rankings Top 25 Chat (2/19)

Teddy Cahill: It was an exciting Opening Weekend around college baseball and you all have questions about it, so let’s get right to them

Josh (Olive Branch): What do you make of Southern Miss weekend sweep of Miss State? I know it’s early but is Southern Miss this good this year, or did Miss State just have a bad weekend?

Teddy Cahill: One of the weekend’s biggest series seems like a good place to start. I think it’s some of both. Southern Miss is good – that’s why we ranked the Golden Eagles No. 21 coming into the year – and Mississippi State clearly had a rotten weekend. Konnor Pilkington is going to pitch better. But I am slightly concerned that my two biggest questions about Mississippi State went unanswered this weekend. Jake Mangum and Josh Hatcher, the top two hitters in the lineup, were all of the Bulldogs’ offense. Someone needs to step up to bring them home. And Ethan Small had a poor start as he works back from injury. Mississippi State needs the pitchers that missed last year to come back and contribute. That said, it was one weekend. The Bulldogs have a chance to get it going this week.

Cade (Hattiesburg): Southern Miss made one of the loudest statements of the weekend sweeping Mississippi State. Were you guys tempted to move them up more than 4 spots?

Teddy Cahill: I was not and we didn’t talk about them any higher than 17. I am very unreactive early in the season, possibly to a fault. It was a loud sweep for sure, but it was one weekend at home to a team that we had ranked below them. I feel good about where Southern Miss is in the Top 25 right now.

David (Gulfport, MS): What’s your early opinion of Southern Miss? How do they stack up in CUSA?

Teddy Cahill: They entered the year as the CUSA favorites. Obviously that hasn’t changed. I think they might be able to boss that league again. Rice had a solid weekend and figures to be better and I like Florida Atlantic a lot too. But Southern Miss separated itself last year and could do so again this year. I wrote a lot more about Southern Miss in Off the Bat, if you want more in-depth thoughts

David (Mississippi): Thoughts on Ole Miss sending 16 batters to the plate over the 3 game series and all 16 getting a hit? Bode well for Ole Miss or still too early?

Teddy Cahill: That’s kind of cool, I guess? We knew there was depth at Ole Miss this year. It’s good that they all came out swinging, but the Rebels aren’t going to use 16 position players on an SEC weekend.

Dustin (Austin, Tx): The horns struggled to score runs this weekend. Were the Cajun pitchers that good? Should Texas fans expect another season of below average offense?

Teddy Cahill: Talked about this a bit on the podcast today, which will be online later this afternoon. I know Texas fans are eager to see more offense, but this is still a pitching and defense team. And Louisiana-Lafayette can really pitch. I think Texas has enough hitting, but I don’t think it’s going to be a particularly dynamic offense. I am very interested to see how the Longhorns hitters do this weekend at LSU.

Peter (Chicago): Does LSU have some serious issues on the mound and plate or is Notre Dame better than expected. Only one weekend but Notre Dame outplayed LSU in every aspect this weekend.

Teddy Cahill: We knew LSU was going to struggle early. Losing what they did from last year’s team, there were always going to be growing pains. The Tigers still have a lot of work to do, especially on the mound. All three of the starters can be better, but they need to get it turned around in a hurry. And while there’s some depth to that staff, it would really behoove LSU if those three can all stay in the rotation. I think Notre Dame might be a little better than expected as well, but we’re going to need to see some more baseball before we really have a feel for that.

VandyMan (VandyLand): Vanderbilt’s freshman class looked as advertised. Hickman was locked in and solid, Martin, Clarke, and Gonzalez all showed tremendous thump, oh and DeMarco was an on base machine. If these guys keep contributing (and covering an Infante 0-fer for the weekend) could this be a team that makes some SEC noise?

Teddy Cahill: Yeah, that’s kind of the formula for Vanderbilt this year. The faster the freshmen get up to speed (and clearly some are there already), the better the chances that the Commodores hit their ceiling. There’s a lot of talent on that roster.

Phil (Corvallis): Question on Trevor Larnach – obviously the numbers are going to come down a little from the first weekend but if he continues to show power where can he possibly go in the draft?

Teddy Cahill: Larnach has always been an interesting draft prospect to evaluate because the raw power was in there, but he had never really unlocked it. He had three career home runs coming into the weekend. If he keeps hitting, he can go pretty good. Barring a Player of the Year type season, I don’t think he gets into the top half of the first round because he’s a corner guy and the depth of the college outfield class (there are only going to be so many college outfielders taken really high and it won’t be easy to get past the likes of Conine, Jenista, Pompey and Swaggerty), but he can be a first rounder.

Jonathan Watkins (Birningham, AL): Auburn looked really good this weekend. Almost looked like a better team than last year. Do you think Auburn is a deep program or did they just play a really bad team this weekend?

Teddy Cahill: Well, Auburn played a really bad team this weekend. Longwood ranked 258 in RPI last year and I don’t think it will be much better this year. But that doesn’t mean this Auburn team isn’t good. Casey Mize is a legit ace and both of Butch Thompson’s first two recruiting classes have been ranked in the Top 25. The program is on the rise. I think there’s a lot to be excited about on the Plains, but I’m also very eager to see Auburn play better competition.

Nick (Greenwood, AR): Razorbacks. Any weak areas to speak of? Thanks.

Teddy Cahill: I don’t see any. I called Arkansas one of the most complete teams in the country all preseason. There’s a reason the Hogs are ranked No. 4

Chuck (Atlanta): Did Clemson pitching show enough to add confidence in their outlook if they start hitting the baseball and could they win the ACC? I know it was W&M, but first series sweeps since 2010

Teddy Cahill: I mean, Clemson was No. 12 in the preseason and the third-ranked ACC team. I feel like we already had established that the Tigers are ACC title contenders.

Burke Lyle (Kennesaw Georgia): I saw UConn lose to to Kennesaw Sate on Friday. What did they do the rest of the weekend to get into the top 25?

Teddy Cahill: Won the next two games, for starters. UConn is a team we talked at length about ranking in the preseason. We opted for St. John’s at the time, but UConn was very close. So they were kind of the first team up. It was a solid weekend for the Huskies. Not particularly groundbreaking, but I thought it was good to see them go on the road and score as many runs as they did. For Northern schools, getting through that first weekend, when you haven’t been outside much is key, and I think the Huskies will be strong on the mound going forward. Tim Cate is going to pitch better than he did Friday. It’s a solid all-around team.

Bill (Orlando): The Southern Miss offense was not a question going in to this season. But the pitching was a big unknown, so after this weekend is the pitching much better than expected or is MS State just really bad offensively?

Teddy Cahill: I think Nick Sandlin’s move to the front of the rotation changes the complexion of things. If he can lock down that spot, Southern Miss is going to have the edge on the mound most (every?) Friday nights in CUSA. And Wallner being healthy adds a premium arm to the bullpen. While Southern Miss lost a lot on the mound, there’s still plenty of talent there. But I don’t want to go overboard on Southern Miss’ pitching yet. It’s one weekend and Mississippi State is young offensively.

Dean (Greenville, NC): How do you see the East Carolina-UNC matchup panning out this weekend? Do the Pirates have a chance to win the series, and if they did, is there a possibility we see them in the top 25?

Teddy Cahill: I think North Carolina takes the series. They’re No. 6 in the country for a reason and I don’t think ECU can match up on the mound. But it should be a fun series. I know ECU fans will be fired up to see UNC in Greenville and the setup with the neutral site game at Duke’s home ballpark and the finale in Chapel Hill is cool. If ECU were to pull the upset, I wouldn’t look for them in the Top 25. It would be a really nice win, but we didn’t have ECU as a regional team in the preseason. So it would take a little more than just that series win.

Dan (DC): Tell me anything positive about GW’s chance in the A10 this year.

Teddy Cahill: I think the conference slate sets up pretty well for George Washington. Some winnable series at the start. Tough close with VCU and SLU on back-to-back weekends in May. It was a tough weekend at Florida Atlantic for the Colonials, but they played a very good Owls team tight.

Lionel (Nashville): How volatile are losses for Power 5 conference teams against mid-majors this early in the season? For example, if you’re a top 10, top 25 team, and you take 2 of 3 from a much weaker team, does it sway the rankings? Should it? Thanks!

Teddy Cahill: In isolation, I don’t get hung up on one loss in a series to a team you shouldn’t be losing to. So if, say Vanderbilt, lost a game to, say UMass-Lowell, say this weekend, I wouldn’t much care when I went to evaluate for the Top 25. But if Vanderbilt were to make a habit of losing games like that, either in midweek or on the weekend, that’s when it starts to make an impact on the ranking. Even if they keep winning series, that points to a larger issue, for me. UCLA was like that two years ago. Fullerton did it early last year before it got rolling. But on any one weekend, I don’t want to put too much stock into one game, unless it’s to like an RPI 250+ team. Baseball is a funny game and sweeping series is difficult.

Teddy Cahill: That’ll do it for today. Thanks for your questions. And, as always, if I didn’t get to yours, leave it in the comments and I’ll come back and answer there.

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Pacific Union International Hires Top Real Estate Executive Leah Sternberg as Vice President of Business Development, Southern California

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Former Compass and Coldwell Banker Executive to Support Pacific Union’s 900 Real Estate Professionals in Southern California. Read More…

Gulf Coast group hosts human trafficking awareness seminar in Hattiesburg

Susie Harvill, founder of Advocates for Freedom, hosts a training seminar in Hattiesburg Saturday. Photo credit WDAM.


A Gulf-Coast group that fights human trafficking in Mississippi is getting some help from volunteers in the Pine Belt.

About a half dozen people attended a training session Saturday for the group Advocates for Freedom.

Organization founder Susie Harvill gave the volunteers an overview of the human trafficking problem in the state. Read More…

How Much Do You Know About Funerals?

Elaine Doris Thurman Jarrell

Hattiesburg, MS

Memorial services will be held for family and close friends at 11:00 AM Thursday at Court Street United Methodist Church for Mrs. Elaine Doris Thurman Jarrell. Pastor Brad Corban will officiate the service. Visitation will begin at 10:00 AM Thursday.

Elaine Jarrell was born near Hattiesburg in Jeff Davis County, Oakville, MS, on May 2, 1943 to Lavon and Helen Thurman. Read More…

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