Making a Visible Difference in Communities: Mississippi
North Gulfport, MS
The city of Gulfport, Mississippi, was planning and implementing policies and projects that aim to spur economic revitalization on several aging commercial corridors. Since Hurricane Katrina, insurance rates, concerns over flooding, and the availability of greenfield sites led to increased commercial and residential development in the northern part of the city, causing older commercial corridors to decline. Gulfport had already instituted a tax abatement program focused on beachfront housing and the downtown.
The city requested technical assistance from EPA to analyze and assess Gulfport’s existing tax abatement programs, to propose other economic tools that the city could use that would provide multiple benefits, and to develop complementary schematic design options for promoting green infrastructure and redevelopment that protects human health and the environment. EPA funded a design team to study four potential new tax abatement districts, become familiar with the previous incentive efforts, and develop design options highlighting opportunities for both economic revitalization and environmental protection.
This report presents complementary strategies, best practices, and policy options that could maximize the success of an expanded tax abatement program and facilitate economic revitalization of the new program districts while achieving other community benefits.