Video: Legislators From Both Sides of the Aisle Trying to Lure Business Investment to State


JACKSON, Miss. (WCBI) — As Mississippi tries to get KiOR to liquidate, lawmakers are looking at new ways prospective companies receive financial incentives. KiOR’s Mississippi subsidiary has not filed bankruptcy but owes the Mississippi Development Authority $79 million.

Lawmakers say there’s no doubt the state, especially north Mississippi, has benefited from economic development incentives. Republicans and Democrats agree its important to look at the long term benefits and have more guarantees before tax payer dollars are given. However, their approach is different. One wants more oversight, the other does not want to invest in buildings.

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Lt. Governor, Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) said, “Things such as building new roads to the facility, expanding roads to the facility, ensuring that you have a railroad spur, ensuring that the railroad can move your product. Because again, that’s the kind of infrastructure government ought to be doing.”

“We can do better than what we’ve done in the past,” said Rep. Steve Holland (D-Dist. 16). “And I think we need to put safeguards in, have stronger committee meetings on what these things are about, what their purpose, do background checks.”

No lawmaker told WCBI they would introduce specific legislation to address incentive packages, that are necessary, to lure big manufacturers to the state.