The city is bringing homeowners back to the beach with a program that offers a seven-year reprieve from city taxes for qualified homes and businesses built south of the CSX railroad tracks.
The City Council on Tuesday afternoon approved tax breaks for six homes on Second Street, Beach Boulevard and Allan Drive, with 21 others under construction.
“That is a great growth spurt for residential development along Highway 90, and it’s not concentrated in one area,” Economic Development Director David Parker told the Sun Herald. “We’re hearing from contractors and home builders and people applying that it was very instrumental in their decision to build or buy. We’re very glad it is doing what we hoped it would do. The program is working. It’s spurring development.”
Parker said he has heard from other economic development specialists who want copies of Gulfport’s ordinance because they are interested in bringing the program to their cities.
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The break, viewed as a way to fill lots Hurricane Katrina scoured 11 years ago, applies only to new construction and eliminates only city taxes on the structure for seven years. City taxes must still be paid on the lot or land, plus county and school taxes must be paid on the house or business and the land.
To qualify, the minimum investment for a house is $400,000 facing the beach and $100,000 off the beach. Minimum investment is $1 million for commercial property and $3 million for multi-family housing. The tax break is granted only after the owner has secured a certificate of occupancy.