Big Moves in Mississippi

Posted By: Bill Cork SEDC News,

Mississippi Development Authority | Advanced Composites Institute

Big Moves in Mississippi

Big Moves in Mississippi

For years, Mississippi has recognized the need to expand the state’s portfolio of shovel-ready industrial sites or watched as neighboring states out-compete Mississippi in product development. To ensure Mississippi remains ready to meet the needs of future industrial projects, the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) has used its Site Development Grant Program to invest millions of dollars into an extensive, vetted list of ready, premier, and select sites. Since the start of the program seven years ago, $73 million has been invested in infrastructure at 70 sites.

Once these funds are invested, some projects may still require a bit more “oomph” to close the deal, and the Mississippi State Legislature may be called upon to assist with a much larger incentives package. In early 2024, two special legislative sessions were called in Jackson to nail down the incentives for two massive projects in different parts of the state.

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves called the first of two special sessions for January 18, 2024 to finalize the then-second largest economic development project in Mississippi history and the largest payroll commitment of any major project in state history.

Coined “Project Poppy” prior to the Legislature’s approval, the package includes a $186.7 million grant consisting of:

  • $120 million of “inside the fence” reimbursements
  • $40.7 million for land stabilization and pad construction
  • $24 million for training
  • $2 million for Mississippi Development Authority implementation and state agency expediting fund

The joint venture between Accelera by Cummins, the zero-emissions business unit of Cummins Inc., Daimler Trucks & Buses, and PACCAR, is locating advanced battery cell production operations in Marshall County in the far north of the state, on a portion of the Chickasaw Trails Industrial Park megasite near Byhalia. The company will manufacture battery cells for electric commercial vehicles and industrial applications, creating quality manufacturing jobs in the growing clean technology sector. The project represents a corporate investment of at least $1.9 billion and will create 2,000 jobs with an average annual salary of approximately $66,000.

“This monumental win underscores Mississippi’s attractiveness for major investments and signifies a boost to our economic landscape,” said Bill Cork, Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority.

The second special session was called for January 25 to approve an incentive package for “Project Atlas,” later revealed to be plans by Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build two “hyperscale data centers” in Madison County, close to the center of the state. AWS’s $10 billion investment is the single largest capital investment in the state’s history, being four times the size of the previous largest economic development project.

Incentives the legislature approved for the AWS project totaled $44 million, including $35 million to workforce training through Mississippi’s community colleges and other workforce initiatives, and $5 million to site development support. The state also committed to a 10-year, 100% corporate income tax exemption, Sales and Use Tax incentives for construction and post-construction investments made within 12 months, a 100% Sales and Use Tax exemption on equipment, and a rebate of 3.15% of eligible construction costs. There is also a 30-year rolling state tax exemption.

“This $10 billion private sector investment is proof that Mississippi can compete against the fiercest competition in economic development and win,” said Gov. Reeves.