New tax exemption process being tested

The American Press

<p class="indent"><span>A</span> major test of the new criteria for granting local industrial property tax exemptions is under way in Baton Rouge. ExxonMobil wants to expand its existing polyolefin plant, a project expected to cost between $500 million and $1 billion.</p><p class="indent">The Louisiana Board of Commerce and Industry has approved the tax break for the expansion that would create 45 new direct jobs, 20 permanent contractor jobs and 600 construction jobs at peak development. That would have been all ExxonMobil needed under previous tax break guidelines, but Gov. John Bel Edwards for the first time has given local governments a voice in the process since it is their taxes that are being exempted.</p><p class="indent">ExxonMobil now needs approval from the East Baton Rouge School Board, the Metro Council and East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux. The Advocate said the tax break in the first year would total $5.7 million. The company said it would pay $6.9 million in property taxes over the life of the 10-year exemption, which is 20 percent of what it would otherwise pay, and $32 million in sales taxes.</p><p class="indent">Previously, industries received what amounted to a 100 percent property tax break over 10 years, but that has been reduced to an 80 percent exemption. Edwards, Baton Rouge Mayor, President Sharon Weston Broome and the Baton Rouge Area Chamber have all endorsed the Exxon request. The local bodies have 60 days — until late October — to act or the exemption would be approved.</p><p class="indent">Together Baton Rouge, a faith-based and community action group, has taken a tough stance on granting local property tax exemptions and hasn’t said whether it supports the request. The Advocate said the company has indicated it might not go forward with the project if the exemption is rejected.</p><p class="indent">The organization has added two new criteria for granting exemptions. It wants to know the amount of property taxes Exxon projects to pay for each of the next 10 years. It also wants to know the value of Exxon’s taxable property, believing it has been under-assessed by the parish tax assessor.</p><p class="indent">Supporters of these property tax exemptions voice some legitimate concern about whether the new process might discourage future industrial development. We hope local governing bodies keep that in mind when deciding whether to approve the exemptions.</p>””INDUSTRY TAX EXEMPTION

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Let health experts call shots

high-school Football

Jennings High comes to aid of former foe

Local News

Victims of Ida get glimpse of journey ahead

Local News

Support workers not pleased with supplemental pay plan in Jeff Davis

Local News

Only a fraction of funding reimbursed to Cameron by FEMA

Local News

15 child deaths attributed to COVID in La.

Local News

School Board extends COVID-related sick leave policy

Local News

Kind Vibes Only: CPSO hosts one-mile anti-bullying walk

Local News

Sowela rolls out fifth annual Flying Tigers Car Show

Local News

Parents urge Jeff Davis School Board to oppose any vaccine mandate

Local News

City hiring two agencies to help with disaster recovery financial advocacy

Crime

Man arrested in Monday shooting near McNeese campus

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:State’s election system secure

Local News

Transfer of Mallard Cove Golf Course to Chennault complete

Local News

Maplewood schools will remain closed Thursday

Local News

Kinder Future Farmers of America collect, deliver fuel to Lafourche Parish

Local Business News

Disaster assistance request for SW La. makes it to budget

Local Business News

Area LyondellBasell plant receives ISCC PLUS certification

Local Business News

When it comes to headwear, Anne Monlezun and Kevin Mattingly have got you covered

Local Business News

Elizabeth Jimney column: Building a website that works for you

Local Business News

Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business

Local Business News

Few things please Chloun more than delighting diners with authentic Middle Eastern cuisine

Local News

Nicholas expected to weaken to a depression overnight

Local News

Nicholas weakening as it moves toward SW La.