Lawmakers adopt incentives for manufacturer in Clay County

Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, and Brian Aldridge, R-Tupelo, tried unsuccessfully to amend the bill to provide some of the same incentives to Cooper Tire in Tupelo that Yokohama will get in Clay County. The House voted down that proposal after Ways and Means Chair Jeff Smith, R-Columbus, urged members to wait until a later date to take up Cooper’s needs when more was known about them.

Holland and Aldridge tried to provide Cooper an exemption on the sales tax on the purchase of equipment.

“I can tell you with mathematical certainty that Cooper wants to relocate its headquarters” from Ohio to Tupelo, Holland said.

Kathy Gelston, the chief financial officer for the Mississippi Development Authority, told Holland and others during Friday morning’s meeting of the House Ways and Means Committee that her agency knew of issues facing Cooper and there might be a later special session to deal with the Lee County employer.

Cooper employs about 1,600 in Lee County.

Daily Journal
4/26/13