PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. (WLOX) – New development opportunities are now happening in the Pass. With an early victory in hand, Mayor Jimmy Rafferty is pushing for more incentives to attract more businesses downtown and beyond.
Construction noise is what Rafferty wants to hear downtown, and strategic conversation is key.
“I have worked in human resources for my entire career,” Rafferty said. “And, really, it’s about bringing people together.”
In his second brainstorming session, new and familiar faces were ready to learn more about Rafferty’s plan to revitalize downtown.
Its main weapon: the Financing of the District Tax Increment.
“Really what a TIF does is it helps get businesses where they’ve never been before,” he said.
Simply put: TIF reimburses or diverts a portion of a company’s taxes above an established land value to help finance development.
The city just got the county approval this week of a $ 57 million TIF plan for the West Pass resort that will bring hotel and commercial space to undeveloped space.
“Now we’re focusing on the downtown area and an area near Walmart, which is right on the beach,” Rafferty added.
This seven-acre property is owned by Kumar Amaraneni. And he has ideas.
“Like a resort area for people, tourists, to come and enjoy the beach across the highway,” he said.
Amaraneni loves the idea of TIF and, although he’s in no rush to move, he loves the vision of the city.
“Jimmy is full of energy, you know,” he said. “And he wants a lot for the county and especially Pass Christian. So I want to be part of it. “
Bill Wingfield is excited enough about the city’s potential growth that he and his wife, Dr. Angela Wingfield, are opening another dermatology clinic this week.
“There aren’t a lot of medical facilities at Pass Christian,” he said. “And as the growth of the community intensifies, there is a growing need for physicians and professionals to enter the market. “
Rafferty intends to continue these brainstorming sessions to develop a variety of ideas beyond the TIF districts.
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