Mississippi Does A Quick Superproject Deal

by Roby Brock (roby@talkbusiness.net) 6 views 

It flew way under the radar in Arkansas reporting circles, but last week Mississippi took care of a superproject deal pledging $130 million in bonds for the location of a new $1.2 billion tire factory.

The deal has many similarities to Arkansas’ recent $1.1 billion steel mill superproject deal, which received $125 million in incentives from state lawmakers for loans and grants. Arkansas’ project, the Big River Steel Mill, is expected to hire 500 workers earning an average of $75,000 a year.

Arkansas legislators took weeks to study the superproject deal, which was met with resistance from existing steel competitor Nucor.

A week ago Friday, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) called a one-day special legislative session to approve that state’s superproject plan.

A $1.2 billion Yokohama Tire Corp. manufacturing company plans to anchor in the Mississippi town of West Point (Clay County), which has a 18% unemployment rate. One state representative attempted to get new incentives for an existing, competing Cooper Tire plant already in operation in the state.

Yokohama will have to make an initial $300 million investment for state incentives to kick in. The project is expected to hire 500 workers, but could grow to as high as 2,000 eventually.

It is Yokohama’s first facility to locate in the U.S.