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Mississippi Incentives and Workforce Development Guide

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Financing

Advantage Jobs Incentive Program :
Many businesses creating new jobs in Mississippi are eligible to receive a rebate of a percentage of their Mississippi payroll for a period of up to 10 years. The jobs must meet or exceed the average annual wage of the state or the county in which the company locates, whichever is lower. The minimum job creation requirement is 25 jobs.
Mississippi Motion Picture Production Incentive Program :
The Mississippi Film Industry Incentive Program is designed to encourage the production of film, television and digital content in Mississippi. The program provides a cash rebate on a portion of the expenses incurred by production companies during production of a certified project in the state. To qualify, a project must be a nationally distributed film, video, DVD, television series, commercial, or computer or video game that is made (in whole or in part) in Mississippi for theatrical, television, or online viewing or for playing on a video game console, personal computer or handheld device. Media distribution and production companies are eligible for a 25% ‘local spend’ rebate and a rebate of up to 30% for Mississippi-based resident cast and crew payroll. The ‘per project’ rebate cap is set at $10 million, with an annual cap of $20 million.
Development Infrastructure Grant Program (DIP) :
Available to fund publicly owned infrastructure and can be used by municipalities and counties to assist with the location or expansion of businesses. Usage of the funds must be directly related to the construction, renovation, or expansion of industry.
Job Protection Grant Program :
Available to fund “at risk” industries that have been operating in the state for at least three years and that have lost jobs or are at risk of losing jobs because such jobs have been outsourced, defined as being lost and relocated to industries in foreign countries. The funding can be used by “at risk” industries that retain jobs in Mississippi and improve productivity.
Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Program :
Provides loans to businesses that are increasing energy efficiency in their buildings, equipment and processes. Eligible applicants include manufacturers, warehouses and distribution centers, research and development facilities, retail enterprises, telecommunications and data processing facilities, hospitals and national or regional headquarters.

Tax Incentives

Broadband Technology Tax Credit :
Credits provided to entities to encourage the deployment of high-speed Internet access throughout the state, with an emphasis on rural areas. Qualifying equipment used in the deployment of broadband technologies includes asynchronous transfer mode switches, digital subscriber line access multiplexers, routers, servers, multiplexes, fiber optics and related equipment. Annual credit amounts are calculated as a percentage of eligible expenditures, based on equipment location, and are available for 10 years. The credits can be claimed against income or franchise tax, but the total amount of credits taken over the 10-year period cannot exceed 100% of the cost of the equipment. The credit percentage amount allowed per year is based on the development ranking of the county.
Growth and Prosperity Program (GAP) :
Designed to encourage development in more economically challenged areas of the state, the GAP Program designates specific counties as GAP counties and provides income, franchise, sales and use and property tax incentives to companies that locate or expand in these locations. The following businesses that create 10 or more jobs are eligible to participate under the GAP Program:
  • companies engaged in manufacturing, processing, assembling, storing, warehousing, servicing, distributing or selling of any products or goods, including products of agriculture;
  • research and development enterprises, including, but not limited to, scientific laboratories; or
  • other businesses or industries that will further the public purposes of the GAP Act as determined on a case-by-case basis by MDA and that create a minimum of 10 jobs.
Jobs Tax Credit :
In Mississippi, companies receive a corporate income tax credit for creating jobs. These credits are equal to a percentage of eligible payroll for each newly created job. Companies can either use these credits, which range from 2.5% to 10% of payroll depending on the business location, or they can opt for a job training grant as a direct reduction of workforce training costs. The credits are available for a five-year period and are taken in years two through six after the new jobs are created. Job training grants can cover up to 75% of the cost of training employees and range from $1,000 to $2,000 per worker, depending on the business location. A business must create and maintain between 10 and 20 jobs, depending on the location of the company’s operations, to qualify for the credits or the training grant. The following businesses qualify : manufacturers, wholesalers, processors, research and development facilities, distributors and warehouses. In addition, the following businesses qualify upon receiving a designation by the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) : air and transportation maintenance facilities, telecommunications companies, data and information processing companies, computer software development enterprises, recreational facilities that impact tourism, resort hotels having a minimum of 150 rooms, movie industry studios and technology-intensive facilities.
Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit :
Existing manufacturers that have operated in Mississippi for two or more years may be eligible for investment tax credits that can be applied to the entity’s state income tax liability. To qualify, an existing manufacturer must invest $1,000,000 or more in buildings and/or equipment used in the manufacturing operation. The investment credit is calculated as 5% of the eligible investment for a project.
Mississippi Health Care Industry Zone Incentive Program :
Enacted in 2012 to encourage health care-related businesses to locate or expand in the state. The incentive program benefits medical service providers and other health care-related businesses, such as those engaged in medical supply, biologics, laboratory testing, medical product manufacturing and distribution, and diagnostic imaging that locate in a qualified Health Care Zone in the state. Health Care Zones are defined as areas where there are three contiguous counties which have Certificates of Need for more than 375 acute care hospital beds and/or areas located within five miles of a hospital that will be constructed before July 1, 2017, with a minimal capital investment of $250 million. In addition, eligible businesses must locate or expand within a five-mile radius of a health care facility with a Certificate of Need for acute care hospital beds. Qualifying businesses are eligible to receive an accelerated, 10-year state income tax depreciation deduction, a sales tax exemption for equipment and materials purchased directly by the eligible business from the date of the project’s certification until three months after the facility is completed, and a 10-year ad valorem tax exemption with local government approval.
Mississippi Data Center Incentives :
State sales tax exemption for all computing equipment and software used by companies certified as data centers by MDA, as well as a sales tax exemption for building materials used in construction, provided the certified data center purchases the materials directly. Both new and replacement equipment qualify for the tax exemption. The certification requires a minimum investment of $50 million and the creation of at least 50 new jobs paying 150% of the average state wage.
Research and Development Skills Tax Credit :
Equal to $1,000 per employee per year for a five-year period and can be used to reduce an eligible entity’s income tax liability. These credits are available for any position requiring R&D skills. There is no minimum number of positions that must be created to qualify for this credit. These credits can be used in addition to Jobs Tax Credits, and the combination can be used to offset up to 50% of the entity’s state income tax liability. Any unused credits can be carried forward up to five years.
Industrial Property Tax Exemption :
Up to a 10-year exemption from property taxes is available to eligible industries that locate or expand in the state. The exemption may be granted for all local property taxes except school district taxes on any property but may not be granted on finished goods or rolling stock. The exemption usually includes land, buildings, machinery, equipment, furniture, fixtures, raw materials and work in process.

The following businesses qualify for this exemption, at the discretion of the county and city government:

  • Manufacturers, processors, and/or refineries
  • Research and development facilities
  • Warehouse and distribution facilities
  • Air and transportation maintenance facilities
  • Telecommunications companies
  • Data and information processing companies
  • Recreational facilities that impact tourism
  • Movie industry studios
  • Technology-intensive facilities
Mississippi Aerospace Initiative Incentives Program :
Provides tax incentives to companies that manufacture or assemble components for the aerospace industry or provide research, development or training services for the sector and locate or expand in the state. These incentives include a 10-year exemption from income and franchise taxes, as well as a sales and use tax exemption for the start-up of the facility. In order to qualify, companies must invest a minimum of $30 million and create at least 100 full-time jobs.
Mississippi Clean Energy Initiative Program :
Allows MDA to certify companies that manufacture systems or components used to generate clean, renewable or alternative energy. This includes nuclear, solar, wind and hydro-generation. The program provides qualifying companies with a 10-year exemption from state income and franchise taxes, as well as a sales and use tax exemption to establish a plant or expand an existing production facility. To qualify, businesses must commit to invest a minimum of $50 million and create 250 full-time jobs.
National or Regional Headquarters Tax Credit :
An income tax credit for each eligible position assigned to a national or regional headquarters created in, transferred to or expanded in Mississippi. Credits can be applied to state income tax to reduce an eligible entity’s corporate income tax liability and range from between $500 and $2,000 per position, based on the number of new full-time jobs created and their salaries. These credits are awarded to induce companies to establish a headquarters in Mississippi that includes officers and other high-level employees. Transferring or establishing a national or regional headquarters must create a minimum of 20 qualified headquarters jobs within a one-year period. These credits can be used in conjunction with Jobs Tax Credits, and the combination can be used to offset up to 50% of the entity’s state income tax liability. Any unused credits can be carried forward up to five years.
National or Regional Headquarters Sales Tax Credit :
A sales and use tax exemption is available for eligible businesses that create or expand their national or Regional Headquarters in the state or transfer these operations to Mississippi. This exemption applies to component building materials used in the construction or expansion of the facility and to the machinery and equipment used in the facility. A business must create a minimum of 20 new headquarters jobs at the location to qualify for this exemption.
Property Tax Exemption for Industrial Revenue Bond Financing :
An exemption from property taxes on land, buildings and equipment is available and is valid for up to 10 years on property purchased with bond proceeds from industrial revenue bonds issued by the Mississippi Business Finance Corporation (MBFC).
Property Tax Exemption on In-State Inventory :
Local governing authorities may grant a 10-year exemption from property taxes on finished goods inventory that will remain in the state. The exemption may be granted for all local property taxes except school district taxes on any property. Any taxes paid become a direct credit to Mississippi income tax.
Property Tax Exemption for Broadband Technology :
A property tax exemption is available for eligible telecommunications businesses on the purchase of equipment used in the deployment of broadband technology in the state.
Sales & Use Tax Exemption for Industrial Revenue Bond Financing :
To encourage construction and expansion within the state, the Mississippi Business Finance Corporation may issue industrial revenue bonds for financing approved projects. Once projects are induced in the bond program, a sales tax exemption is available for all purchases made with bond proceeds.
Sales & Use Tax Exemption for Construction or Expansion :
A half or full sales and use tax exemption is available on component building materials and eligible machinery and equipment purchases related to a new facility or an expansion in the state. Eligible businesses include manufacturers and custom processors. In addition, the following businesses qualify upon receiving a designation by the MDA : data and information processing companies and technology-intensive facilities. The amount of exemption that is allowed depends on the location of the facility. To qualify for this exemption, application must be made to the Mississippi Department of Revenue prior to beginning the project.
Skills Training Income Tax Credit :
Can be applied to state income tax to reduce an employer’s income tax liability. These credits are earned by certain types of businesses that offer training to their employees in Mississippi. For expenses to qualify for the Skills Training Credit, the training program must be offered by, or be approved by, the community or junior college in the district where the business is located as well as the Mississippi Department of Revenue.

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About The Author

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager. In September 2012, she transitioned to a new role dedicated to developing online content for Business Facilities and Today's Facility Manager. Schwartz can be reached at [email protected]

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