Welp, word is out….

Slabbed has another story coming on the Bay Waveland Yacht Club exemption but we are waiting for Paul Hampton over at the Sun Herald to check in on the sail boat donation. We’ll see.

Bay-Waveland Yacht Club charter changed; club now exempt from paying property taxes ~ Geoff Belcher

Belcher snagged quotes from Jimmie Ladner and Yacht Club Treasurer Chris Roth which is good. Slabbed has some additional quotes to share from Jimmie while Lana got an important clarification from the Mississippi Department of Revenue. We also are in the final stages of information gathering on how the by law change went down at the Yacht Club. This is really a discussion that should have taken place in October 2015 at a Supervisor’s meeting that is open to the public but that never happened folks so we’re going to have it now.

If you are a church or a 501(c)(3), I would urge you to read Mississippi Code Ann. Section 27-31-1, which has the property tax exemptions listed. I imagine there will be some fear mongering and there is no reason for that. Churches are exempt as would most 501(c)(3) organizations.

Finally folks, consider what the statute that Jimmie Ladner is relying upon actually says because there are words after “fraternal and benevolent organization” that are very important and they appear in the very code section (MCA 27-31-1(d)) that Ladner told Slabbed he relied upon to grant the tax exemption to the Yacht Club:

All property, real or personal, owned and occupied by a fraternal and benevolent organization, when used by such organization, and from which no rentals or other profits accrue to the organization, but any part rented or from which revenue is received shall be taxed. (Emphasis added)

The Crickets are Chirping, An Open Letter to Phil Bryant

May 8, 2018

Mrs. Lana Noonan
Waveland, Mississippi 39576

Governor Phil Bryant
P. O. Box 139
Jackson, Mississippi 39205

Dear Governor Bryant:

I reviewed the Opportunity Zone Map for Hancock County, which was released to the press on April 23, and as a citizen of Waveland, was very surprised to see my city’s struggling downtown business district “carved” out of the zone eligible for the Federal tax abatements to attract investors to our area.

My first reaction was, “who could do this to us?!” It was a surprising and disappointing revelation to learn through the U. S. Department of the Treasury representative, Jeff Merkowitz, that it was, in fact, our own Governor who selected and nominated the eligible census tracts within our state for designation as Qualified Opportunity Zones.

The purpose of my letter is to ask you, as the person who made this decision, what criteria you used to determine that our entire neighboring city of Bay St. Louis, including their already thriving downtown area, and highway corridor, was entitled to be an Opportunity Zone, and downtown Waveland was not.

Considering the requirement of 20% of citizens living at poverty level, and no one making over 80% of the median income, this conclusion of yours is an enigma to me and many others. Continue reading “The Crickets are Chirping, An Open Letter to Phil Bryant”

And they “sniffed the reeking buns of Angel acted like it was cocaine”……

Stealing a post title from 2011, Slabbed is going to tell you the story you won’t hear in the local media about the new Opportunity Zones, which made the news this past week locally. For those so interested in catching up, the Sea Coast Echo ran this press release based account of the Hancock County designation along with a picture of the smiling Bill Cork of Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission. Likewise WLOX ran a similar story plus acted the part of cheerleader in an editorial which was completely devoid of substance. But first here is the reaction from our local politicos as recounted by those media outlets linked above:

Blaine LaFontaine, president of the Hancock County Board of Supervisors, said, “We are grateful not one, but two census tracts in Hancock County were selected for this opportunity. We hope that private investment and incentives will help provide long-term investments to decrease poverty and increase per capita incomes in our community.”

Here LaFontaine correctly repeats the theory behind the program as did Bill Cork in his remarks. Here is some more reaction:

Waveland Mayor Mike Smith said, “Waveland is very excited to be a part of the opportunity zone which offers tax relief to investors. It will be the shot in the arm that our community needs to spur development and create very needed jobs.”

Glenn McCullough Jr., executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority, said global companies know the advantages of the state’s productive workforce coupled with our superior business climate. “By adding Qualified Opportunity Zones, investing in Mississippi becomes an even more logical business decision for companies looking to locate or expand in our state,” he said.

As we read those last two remarks everyone began to giggle behind the scenes here at Slabbed. Here in Mississippi the MDA is more well known for its multi-million dollar boondoggles and by linking the tax relief Opportunity Zones offers investors with job creation both Mayor Smith and McCullough stepped out in a big way because there is no such linkage between jobs and investment in the program. In fact one naturally wonders if Mayor Smith actually saw the map of the designated area because Waveland was largely EXCLUDED from it. Here is a screen capture of the map of the local Opportunity Zone area: Continue reading “And they “sniffed the reeking buns of Angel acted like it was cocaine”……”

Less than one year ago, East Hancock Library was closed due to a lack of funds

Today, the Hancock County Library system is so flush with money it can afford to buy a Gold Sponsorship ($1,200) to the Chamber of Comemerce Gala this evening at the Hollywood Casino in Bay St Louis but the Library system is not the only taxpayer funded entity that will party on the taxpayer dime tonight. This does not count the Hancock County Library Foundation, which also bought a $1,200 table for the event:

Platinum sponsors of the event are: Hancock Bank, Aerojet Rocketdyne, American Medical Response, Coast Electric Power Association, Hancock County Tourism Development Bureau, Hollywood Casino – Gulf Coast, Bob & Barbara Huet, Mississippi Power Company, and Silver Slipper Casino & Hotel.

Gold sponsors of the event are: Chemours DeLisle Plant, James J. Chiniche, P. A., Inc. Engineering & Surveying, Dunbar Village, Hancock County Library System, Keesler Federal Credit Union, Lazy Magnolia Brewery, John McDonald Realty, Southern Mississippi Planning & Development District, The Library Foundation of Hancock County, and The Peoples Bank.

First up kudos to all the local private businesses that have stepped up to support their public interest group. That said, when the Library and Tourism folks show up poor mouthing their budgets while asking the Bay City Council for taxpayer handouts, maybe they should be asked about how they spend the tax money they already receive. That said this is not the only story in yesterday’s Echo that was worth reading:

Hancock supervisors seek to increase millage ~ Dwayne Bremer

As the fools play: Pissin’ away your tax dollars

After all folks we have tax money to burn when it comes to Hollywood giveaways so first the theme song of the Mississippi legislature:

Yelling ‘Cut!’ for Moviemaking Tax Breaks: States keep discovering that the dreamed-of benefits don’t materialize. ~ Chris Hudon and Donald Bryson

And despite the overwhelming evidence these taxpayer Film incentives are spend a dollar to gain a quarter type propositions that make absolutely no economic sense, one of the major accomplishments of the 2015 Mississippi legislature was finally instituting this taxpayer funded giveaway to out of state business interests. Its not that the leadership in this state being backwards that makes this so bad. Its that the leadership is both late and backwards that helps keep us snake bit when it comes to economic development. Meantime the fools play (with your tax money). Continue reading “As the fools play: Pissin’ away your tax dollars”

Monday Open: SRHS Retirees taking the road show to Jackson, JPSO caught stomping defenseless teen on camera plus the Congroovancy loses one

Links, links and more links folks. Add you own in comments:

SRHS retirees turned protesters trying to save pension ~ Anita Lee

Hospital retirees meet today to plan a rally at the State Capitol ~ WLOX

AG opinions say Biloxi can’t sell naming rights to ballfield ~ Mary Perez

New Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office report: High school student Brady Becker a drunken aggressor who threw punch, tried to strangle deputy ~ Jim Mustian

Yep, sure looks like the kid was strangling that deputy while the deputy was beating his face in.

Supers seek answers in DWSD controversy ~ Dwayne Bremer

Sheriff probes DHS fraud claims ~ Dwayne Bremer

Finally, for all the rocket scientists in the media and legislature that think movie tax credits are actually a good idea I have this from Lee Zurik:

Finally I note the passing of attorney/blogger Tom Freeland of Oxford over the weekend. Tom’s contributions to the online scene here in Mississippi were immense. He was a talented writer whose ongoing work online will be missed.

Monday Open: Advocate Series on Corporate Welfare rolls out

This is a topic whose time for exploration across the South is really past due. That said Gordon Russell and the gang at the Advocate put out a whopper of a first installment on Louisiana’s corporate welfare programs, which are being funded off the backs of its colleges and universities:

Special Report: Giving away Louisiana ~ The Advocate

Locally the pension disaster at the Singing River Hospital system continues to pop up in the news. A second bite at the subject here on Slabbed is past due.

In any event here are a couple more links starting with the MDOC scandal:

Benjamin Story Raises More Questions ~ Jackson Jambalaya

Conservative Activists Hint at Undercover Stunt Targeting Mary Landrieu ~ Elizabeth Crisp

Finally the local GOP is formally disavowing Louisiana PSC candidate Forest Wright, whose RINO baggage was first rolled out here on Slabbed back in September in response to party faithful contacting me. With PSC Candidate Eric Skrmetta being endorsed in commercials by folks like Steve Scalise, Forest Wright is now on the defensive with ads like the following hitting the airways:

In response to Wright’s ads alleging Skrmetta is corrupt, Team Skrmetta went into the CDC and got themselves a temporary restraining order on some of the more over the top Wright ads: Continue reading “Monday Open: Advocate Series on Corporate Welfare rolls out”

How I became a made bananaman and discovered that Miss Chiquita was a government subsidy whore

As seemingly everyone in the two state area now knows, Chiquita is vacating the Port of Gulfport in favor of the Port of New Orleans and the Slabbed Nation is clamoring for some sage analysis.  As luck would have it, my becoming a bananaman derives from the same event from which the name of this website derives, Hurricane Katrina.  Everyone knows that Chiquita imports bananas into the US via Gulfport’s (soon to be New Orleans) Break Bulk cargo facility from Central America.  The company backhauls huge paper rolls to Central America that are used to make the banana boxes used for shipping.  Here is what my neighborhood looked like after the storm when the rocket scientists at the Port made the call to leave everything in place before the storm:

Intersection of US 90 and Broad Avenue after Hurricane Katrina / Slabbed New Media File Photo
Intersection of US 90 and Broad Avenue after Hurricane Katrina destroyed by Chiquita Paper Rolls stored at the Port  of Gulfport / Slabbed New Media File Photo

Most of the rolls clustered at Broad Street and Highway 90 but a few even made it to my neighborhood proper:

West Gulfport flattened by Port Debris and Hurricane Katrina / Slabbed New Media File Photo
West Gulfport flattened by Port Debris and Hurricane Katrina / Slabbed New Media File Photo

Naturally, having witnessed the destruction first hand coupled with nothing happening in the cleanup front I felt the need to agitate and since Chiquita was the only public company among the port tenants it was the CQB message board on Yahoo that I brought the full measure of five weeks of frustration.  Within a week or so of my arrival on the CQB cyber scene, I was met at my slab by a contractor on October 2, 2005 who was armed with an ROE and heavy equipment. Word got out among my old neighbors, additional ROEs were executed on the spot and we were fast tracked for cleanup.  This internet thing is like magic in skilled hands as the following video illustrates: Continue reading “How I became a made bananaman and discovered that Miss Chiquita was a government subsidy whore”

The Best Cadillac Corporate Welfare Package Taxpayer Money can buy: Brought to you by Barack Obama and Southern Company

And the best part folks is everyone one of us in Mississippi that buys electricity from Southern Company gets stuck with the difference between what Obama didn’t give ’em and the final cost of the project, now estimated at $4.2 billion. According to the good folks over at the Bigger Pie Forum think tank the average Mississippi residential ratepayers electric bill will go up about 61% to pay for the boondoggle, an increase of $76/month. I mention this because: (h/t RFP in comments)

Kemper County power plant, oil producers find political sweet spot for Obama with ‘carbon capture’ technology ~  Dina Cappiello Associated Press

So folks, for those of you that will not be bankrupted by the NFIP rate increases will need to dig deeper to keep the lights on. I wonder what rocket scientist dreamed up the idea of sticking the poorest state in the union with the cost of President Obama’s environmental policies?

Let them eat cake: The GOP Mantra is billions in giveaways for big oil but go f*ck yourselves on that wetlands problem you have….

Folks you can typically tell at a business conference who the hard-core GOPers are by spotting the guys on their knees licking the wingtip shoes of the big business representatives in attendance. I’m sad to say it appears most in the modern-day GOP share this affliction of favoring the corporate folks that stuff big money in their pockets over the local folks that elect them but it is what it is. So I guess none of us should be surprised at the new normal where the GOP controlled House of Representatives has no problem extending billions in taxpayer subsidies to big oil companies while literally chopping off local Corp of Engineers wetland projects at the knees barring new construction starts even on projects with funding in the pipeline. 

The Louisiana GOP delegation is MIA on this of course while their party craps all over the local populace but we witnessed Mississippi’s own Steven Palazzo cutting big money from a defense project being constructed in his own district endangering the jobs of thousands of folks in the process so none of this is new. Unfortunately none of these sellouts shared any of those specifics when they were campaigning to “fire” Nancy Pelosi last year while gorging on Wall Street funded campaign cash.

The country is heading into the crapper faster now than ever with the draining of our treasury by special interests leading the way. They won’t stop until there is nothing left folks.

sop