In an effort to make the state more competitive and increase transparency, the Mississippi Senate unanimously passed legislation creating the Mississippi Flexible Tax Incentive (MFLEX) program.
Senate Bill 2822, authored by Economic & Workforce Development Committee Chairman David Parker (R-Olive Branch), consolidates several current incentives aimed at spurring economic development into one simplified option. MFLEX allows a credit against any state tax liability. The amount of the credit is calculated by considering the business’s investment in equipment and infrastructure, the number of full-time jobs created, and wages and benefits paid out to employees.
To participate in MFLEX, a business must create at least 10 full-time jobs and make a capital investment of $2.5 million.
“The current incentives process is cumbersome and lacks the accountability which this program offers,” Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann said. “When we make a deal, we have to be able to go back to taxpayers and show them it was successful. MFLEX makes Mississippi competitive in the region.”
“One of MFLEX’s best features is it is performance-based, not promise-based,” Parker agreed. “If a business does not perform at the level they promise, their credit is recalculated. We are thankful to local economic developers across the state who lent us their expertise in helping craft legislation which will grow the economy in our communities.”
Businesses qualifying for MFLEX must report publicly the amount of investment, jobs created, average wage of employees, benefits provided, and other information.
“This program is a part of the overhaul of economic development in Mississippi which began with the creation of the Office of Workforce Development, continued with devoting more dollars to education, and now addresses the attraction and expansion of Mississippi businesses,” Hosemann added.
Senate Bill 2967, which Parker also authored and the Senate passed, seeks to end several tax incentives which are not used or lose taxpayer dollars. The legislation also increases a tax credit to employers who provide childcare for employees.
“Our goal is to end incentives which have had a negative or no impact in terms of economic development. We will also be considering incentives specifically aimed at small businesses and high-wage, technology-centered jobs,” Hosemann said.
To view Senate Bill 2822, visit http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/2021/pdf/history/SB/SB2822.xml. To view Senate Bill 2967, visit http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/2021/pdf/history/SB/SB2967.xml.
Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann news release