Hosemann meets with local DeSoto County leaders

Prior to Thursday’s Reagan Day Dinner with DeSoto County Republicans, the DeSoto County Council of Economic Development’s Government Relations Committee met with visiting state officials and Cong. Trent Kelly for an update on legislation affecting the county

State Sens Kevin Blackwell and Dr. David Parker, and State Representative Hester Jackson-McCray, all met with the committee, as did Kelly, Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann, and State Treasurer David McRae.

Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann (official photo)

Hosemann also met separately with county and city leaders during afternoon meetings on specific local issues, including the Horn Lake Creek Sewer Interceptor District. The legislature for this session was passed and sent to Governor Tate Reeves House Bill 1353which, among other things, provides $10 million for infrastructure for the district.

Meanwhile, Horn Lake and Southaven officials have been trying to get Memphis to continue treating the cities’ sewage by the end of the current deal in 2023. Memphis, meanwhile, has approached in federal court to save himself from being forced to sue for Mississippi sewage treatment. the end date of the agreement.

Hosemann said building a system for Horn Lake and Southaven could end up being the answer.

Horn Lake Creek Interceptor Sewer District infrastructure legislation provided the most money from a session that has been highly productive for DeSoto County, which Hosemann says is a “growing economic hub.” for Mississippi.

“No other county has received this kind of money,” Hosemann said. “The interceptor sewer project was the most important. It is in dispute. We don’t know what the outcome will be and it would put us in danger here. It’s not a risk I’m willing to take, so we specifically allocated that money to DeSoto County this year.

DeSoto County-related bills that passed the state Legislature this session would provide $750,000 for infrastructure improvements on Pleasant Hill Road from Goodman Road to Stateline Road in Olive Branch; $500,000 to pay for costs associated with infrastructure improvements at the Oak Grove-Highway 51 intersection in Hernando; and $270,000 each to pay for traffic signal costs at two intersections: Airways and Guthrie Drive in Southaven and Byhalia Road and Highway 305 in Lewisburg.

“We recognize DeSoto County as a huge economic developer for the state,” Hosemann said.

The 2022 session also saw the passage of four local and private bills for each town in DeSoto County. Southaven and Horn Lake have extended repeals of Southaven’s “Penny for the Parks” Restaurant Tax and Horn Lake Local Tax on stays in town accommodations. Olive Branch and Hernando can now set election dates for a vote on their tax proposals.

One program that topped the Legislature and spearheaded by Parker was the MFLEX program, a flexible economic development tax incentive for new and expanding businesses with 10 or more employees and a capital investment of $2.5 million. The tax incentive is based on performance, not on promises.

“I think this is going to be a big help for small and medium-sized businesses,” Hosemann said. “I think it’s going to be a game-changer for the next 5-10 years.”

Hosemann said the MFLEX tax incentive differs from others because it is easy to calculate and transparently communicated to the public.

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