The Clarion-Ledger, 7/29/8

An effort to offer tax-free construction bonds to spur reconstruction of Mississippi after Katrina has largely bypassed the place the help is needed most – Hancock County.

A recent Government Accountability Office report disclosed that of the nearly $5 billion allocated for Gulf Opportunity Zone tax-free bonds in Mississippi, less than $200 million was awarded for construction in Hancock County – considered Hurricane Katrina’s ground zero.

The GAO report also said companies in Stone, Pearl River and George counties each received less than $50 million in bond authority. State officials counted those counties, which are just inland from the Coast, among those most damaged by the 2005 storm.