City Council discusses possible TIF district to connect two shopping centers

Published 9:38 am Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The possibility of creating a Tax Increment Financing district to help fund a connector road between Walmart and Home Depot was discussed during Tuesday’s meeting of the Picayune City Council.

Troy Johnson with Butler Snow began the discussion with a description of a TIF district and how the city would use such an option to help pay for development in the city.

Such financing options have been used in the past for previous developments, such as the Ramey’s shopping center in Poplarville, according to previous coverage.

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During Tuesday’s meeting, Johnson said the creation of a TIF district would start with establishing a baseline for the amount of taxes currently being generated by a piece of property and then compare the amount of taxes generated after it is developed.

Once those parameters are established, the city would be able to decide how much bond money would be sought by the city. Paying the bond off would be done through setting aside a portion of the generated sales and ad valorem taxes.

Johnson said the most typical payment method he has seen involves setting aside 100 percent of ad valorem taxes along with 50 percent of sales tax generated as part of the development.

Before any TIF is approved by the Council,  a plan that explains the project needs to be formed, which would be used to hold a public hearing to garner any comments from the residents.

At that point the Council can decide to move forward with the TIF plan or not. The project being proposed for the TIF may be a connector road from Walmart to Home Depot.

A.P. Guizerix said he owns part of the property that would be used to create the road, but that means two other property owners would have to agree to the project.

Guizerix said he wants to create the road for several reasons, which include allowing traffic to flow from the area easier during peak times and creating access to property he owns that he would like to develop. Some of his ideas for development include restaurants and possibly a hotel, but none of those projects are set in stone. Although he did say that one unnamed business has made a commitment.

Guizerix also said he plans to donate the property used in the construction of the road to the city, along with another parcel that could be used to create a third exit lane from the Walmart shopping center.

No decision was made on the matter. City Manager Freddy Drennan said more information about the project will be presented at the next Council meeting.