Supervisors Grant Exemptions to Forrest Co. Companies

September 26, 2016

Story Originally Posted by Hattiesburg American

Thirteen Forrest County companies – mostly in the Hattiesburg-Forrest County Industrial Park –  will be the beneficiaries of tax exemptions for the next five to 10 years.

During Monday’s regular meeting of the Forrest County Board of Supervisors, board members approved the exemptions for the companies, which include Kohler Co., Western Container Corp., Mar-Jac Poultry and Mississippi Tank Co.

“The board is very proud of our partners out at the industrial park,” board president David Hogan said. “We have used the Area Development Partnership to look at the companies, their growth rate, how many employees they’ve maintained – whether that has gone up or down – and what the capital investments include.

“So based on (the ADP’s) recommendation, the board was proud to approve those tax abatements.”

Todd Jackson, business development director with the ADP, said the companies employ more than 2,800 workers, and in 2015 represented an $85 million capital investment and a $95 million payroll.

“We’re very fortunate to have some of these very well-known, well-established manufacturing companies here in Hattiesburg, that have contributed over $178 million into our economy and directly to our citizens just within the last year,” he said. “So obviously, it’s very important that our community maintain a competitive environment to allow these companies to continue to grow and thrive here in Hattiesburg.”

According to documents from the ADP, Kohler had the highest payroll of the 13 companies in 2015, with approximately $18.5 million. Kohler employed 766 in 2015.

Mar-Jac Poultry had a slightly lower payroll at approximately $17 million, but employed 861 people in 2015.

Companies with smaller payrolls included BIO Soil Enhancers at $1.8 million (24 employees in 2015); C.L. Dews & Sons Foundry and Machinery Co. at $4.2 million (113 employees in 2015); and Sofidel America Corp. with $364,352 (66 employees in 2015).

Hogan said the county and its residents have, and will continue to, benefit from the companies’ presence in Hattiesburg.

“It puts 2,800 employees to work in the Pine Belt,” he said. “And those employees are able to make a decent living, pay taxes and have comfortable living in the Pine Belt.”

By the numbers

Tax exemptions approved Monday (monies approximate)

– Kohler Co.: $62,089.03. 766 employees in 2015.

– Western Container Corp.: $37,000.69. 114 employees in 2015.

– BP Rex Closures (Berry Plastics): $420,926.77. 93 employees in 2015.

– Zeon Chemicals: $3,530.74. 46 employees in 2015.

– Mar-Jac Poultry: $14,478.16. 861 employees in 2015.

– Mississippi Tank Co.: $42,430.51. 192 employees in 2015.

– Wis-Pak of Hattiesburg: $18,294.54. 94 employees in 2015.

– SPG Holdings (Hattiesburg Paper): $100,137.75. 148 employees in 2015.

– Green Bay Converting: $55,958.57. 128 employees in 2015.

– Sofidel America Corp.: $352,781.22. 66 employees in 2015.

– York International Corp. (Johnson Controls): $29,552.67. 199 employees in 2015.

– BIO Soil Enhancers: $1,976.94. 24 employees in 2015.

– C.L. Dews & Sons Foundry and Machinery Co.: $23,424.27. 113 employees in 2015.