WINONA – The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors and the Winona Board of Aldermen agreed to participate in a tax increment finance, or TIF, plan to provide infrastructure improvements for an $8 million business development proposed for the southwestern corner of Highway 82 and Interstate 55. The TIF plan will provide $1.5 million in street, water, and sewer expansion and improvements as well as other improvements to public use areas of the proposed Stribling Equipment dealership and Empire semi-truck dealership.
Tax increment financing allows cities and counties to issue bonds to assist developers in paying for infrastructure improvements needed for construction of a project. The bonds are paid for by future sales and ad valorem tax revenue generated by the new development above what is generated prior to the development.
Currently, the property brings in $480 in ad valorem taxes for Montgomery County and $180.35 in ad valorem taxes for the City of Winona.
Ad valorem taxes projected for Montgomery County equal $79,023 per year, not including the projected $45,000 for school taxes. The City of Winona will collect an estimated $46,000 per year in ad valorem taxes, and it will also receive sales tax estimated in the amount of $105,000 annually on equipment and parts sold at the dealership.
Terms of the TIF agreement have not yet been decided upon by the boards, but the city and county can commit some or all of projected ad valorem increases and sales tax revenues, less revenues for school funding. They also must determine the term of the TIF, which can go as long as 30 years.
That term will be determined by how much funding is needed through the TIF program. Grant funds are being sought to offset infrastructure costs of the project.
This week, representatives of Stribling met with the county and city board regarding the project.
“This is a long-term-commitment-type company,” said Jeff Peoples, president of Peoples Construction in Flowood. Peoples Construction is the long-term contractor for Stribling properties. “They build a first-class facility inside and out.”
According to Peoples, construction of the 31,000-square-foot facility will bring 163 construction jobs to Montgomery County for one year. After construction concludes, 15 “high-paying jobs” will be permanently filled to staff the facility.
Troy Johnston with Butler Snow told the county that Stribling Equipment is a “catalyst project,” with additional development possible adjacent to the dealership.
“We usually have partners that come in beside us,” Johnston said.
Johnston told the Winona Board of Aldermen that details of the TIF agreement will be expedited in the next few weeks so construction on the project can begin mid-summer.
“We lost Walmart, and that lost a lot of revenue,” said Winona Mayor Jerry Flowers. “We could possibly get $75,000 a year in sales tax revenue (even with the TIF program).”
Johnston said with the county and city both on board for the TIF, Stribling “is ready to move here and be a good citizen.”