Lawmakers Work on Industry Incentives

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Mississippi lawmakers are moving quickly to approve incentives for a German company that wants to build a high-tech pipe manufacturing plant in Tunica County.

The House and Senate started working on bills Tuesday shortly after the 2010 legislative session convened.

Gov. Haley Barbour announced Monday that Wilh. Schulz GMBH wants to build a $300 million facility to create 500 jobs within five years. The plant will manufacture stainless steel pipes for the oil and gas industry.

Barbour is asking lawmakers to approve $15 million in bonds to help build the plant. He also wants the state to guarantee a $20 million loan to help the company buy $60 million of equipment.

The plant would be about 20 miles south of Memphis, Tenn., in a county with 12.1 percent unemployment.

Also, Mississippi's tax collections have fallen short of expectations for the past 16 months, and Gov. Haley Barbour is asking lawmakers to be cautious with their spending. Most state services are losing money, from education to public health.

Legislators are scheduled to be at the Capitol until early April, but there's no guarantee they'll finish all their work by then.

They had such a hard time writing a budget last year that they were in and out of session until the fiscal year started July 1.


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