The Biloxi City Council held a heated discussion over tax breaks for new businesses. Some council members argue each business' circumstances should be looked at individually, while others argue there needs to be a set tax abatement for all businesses. Rob Stinson, the owner of Salute in Gulfport, was one business in front of the council Tuesday, asking for a full, seven year tax abatement. The council ultimately voted to give Stinson a five year abatement with decreasing percentages each year. Stinson argued that complications with the project and the number of jobs he would create make him the perfect candidate for a seven year abatement.
Stinson says, “This is a very, very tough market we’re in right now, so you can throw numbers at me. I can throw them back. I guess we’re in a poker game of sorts. We’re in a gambling environment, but I think that the key point to me is it is a risk and what is going to mitigate that risk would be a tax abatement of 100%.” Kress Live was also on the agenda for a tax break and was given a similar five year abatement with no property taxes the first year and increasing taxes each year.