RIDGELAND — Madison County supervisors approved the use of tax increment financing (TIF) for a proposed Mercedes-Benz dealership here, two weeks after city officials gave the go-ahead for use of up to $3.3 million in TIF bonds.

Chris Gouras with Gouras & Associates presented a TIF plan on behalf of Higginbotham Automotive, Inc. to the county that does not include the full faith and credit of the county.

The Mercedes of Jackson dealership has plans to move to the intersection of Steed Road and Sunnybrook Brook Road into a new 70,000 square-foot facility that will be completed in 2017.

Gouras said the dealership represents a $15 million investment with approximately 75 employees.

Currently, the 10-acre site generates $437 in ad valorem revenue, of which $124 currently goes to the county, he said.

He said that once built, the site is projected to generate $47,000 in ad valorem revenue and another $77,000 for schools.

Ridgeland approved 50 percent of their tax increases for the TIF plan and Gouras asked the county to do the same.

He said the dealership would wait one full year after opening to get actual tax values before issuing TIF bonds.



“What is the county’s liability if this project were to go south,” Board President Trey Baxter asked.

“The only legal pledge of the board of supervisors are the revenues from that 10-acre project,” Gouras answered. “The only obligation will be that increase in taxation from the 10 acres. The county has no further obligation.”

District 1 Supervisor Sheila Jones asked if there would be any type of contribution agreement attached to the proposal.

Gouras said the only agreement would be an interlock agreement that would allow the city and chancery clerk to get together annually and satisfy the bond.

The vote to move forward with the TIF was unanimous.

A public hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 15.