When State Treasurer David McRae was in DeSoto County recently for the Reagan Day Dinner at the Landers Center, he talked about the recent appointment of former state Senator Merle Flowers to the Mississippi Business Finance Corporation (MBFC) and the Mississippi Development Bank.
McRae recommended Flowers to the boards, a recommendation that was confirmed by the state Senate during the 2022 session. Flowers will serve a five-year term.
“Merle Flowers has expertise in the business community and can best help us on the Development Bank Board and the Finance Board to help get these projects set forward for local communities that the board does,” McRae said. “Merle knows the people who can help with that board, and having that expertise with the Legislature and the personal business expertise is something I can really relate to coming from the private sector and again coming from the government.”
Flowers now owns several real estate holding companies in DeSoto County.
“I think he is going to be a huge asset to the position and really bring a new mindset and good thinking outside the box to that board that will help local communities with projects that are desperately needed,” McRae said.
The MBFC serves a statewide conduit issuer and acts on behalf of the borrower to access incentives, financial markets, and low-cost capital. Since its creation in 1985, MBFC has facilitated 806 projects representing over $23 billion investment resulting in the creation and retention of over 235,000 jobs.
The Mississippi Development Bank is a statewide issuer of revenue bonds with proceeds going to local governmental entities for infrastructure and economic development projects.
“I am honored to be appointed to these two very important State Boards,” Flowers said. “The bond programs allow local governmental entities to access capital for roads, buildings, utilities, economic development projects, and a host of other quality programs. I’m delighted to be part of a great team to help improve the lives of Mississippians.”
The state treasurer has been actively promoting a college savings program in Mississippi called MPACT. McRae said the key feature of the savings plan is that parents can begin saving early for their child’s college at today’s rates, not at the rate when the child actually heads to college.
“If it costs a dollar today it will cost a dollar when your child is ready for college,” McRae said. “So, the best time, of course, is to sign up for that as soon as the child is born so that you lock in the cheapest rate because in 18 years, I can almost guarantee you that tuition will rise.”
The deadline for open enrollment for the MPACT program is May 31
McRae added that state revenues are robust and heading toward $1 billion for the year.
“Our revenues are way up over estimate,” said McRae. “Our revenue is doing fantastic in the state and I really commend the Legislature, the governor, and everybody who has done the things that are needed to be done.”
Photo: State Treasurer addresses the DeSoto EDC Government Relations Committee as County Supervisor Mark Gardner and Congressman Trent Kelly look on. (Bob Bakken/DeSoto County News)