Inventory tax – has it cost us jobs?

The CEO of Simpson Dura-Vent, Stephen Eberhard, just announced the closing of its plant located in the Ceres Research & Industrial Interplex at Flowers – and blamed the county’s inventory tax in part for the decision. 170 local jobs have been lost because of the closure. Isn’t it time to repeal this punishing tax?

Published in: on February 2, 2008 at 12:52 pm  Comments (5)  

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  1. It was a major factor in their decision. If the county had allowed them some relief when the time came to make a decision it might have worked out in our favor. They might still have closed this plant.

    Simpson paid close to $200,000 into this tax in 2006. After the County refused to give them any relief they began shipping inventory to other plants. It was cheaper for them to put the product on an 18 wheeler and transport it to another state, then transport it back than to pay this tax. That led to a reduction in the number of employees here need to manage the inventory. Those jobs went to another State.

    You said 170 employees, it is actually close to 400 employees. Simpson started reducing staff after the 2006 decision by the Warren County Board to not allow them any relief. They did this because those extra 200 employees and the product they produced cost them too much money in this county and the housing industry took a downturn. Simpson produces vents for new homes. The upper management of this plant will simply relocate to another Simpson plant. The local employees will not.

    Calsonic also had an issue with the inventory tax. While they did not make it a public issue it was indeed a factor in their decision to leave. New companies that employee hundreds of people are not going to choose Warren County because of this tax.

    Look at this scenario. A company wants to place a new manufacturing plant in Mississippi. They talk to local governments about location, access to transportation, labor and what will the local government do to help them with start up and operating cost. The last place in Mississippi they are going to locate is Warren County because of the inventory tax and the unwillingness of the County Board to negotiate this tax. Other counties will bend over backwards to help a new company locate in their area because of the jobs and subsequent tax revenue it produces. I guarantee you the new Toyota plant near Tupelo is not paying this tax. Other counties routinely do not attempt to collect this tax because of the damning effect on industry and local business.

    In Warren County we gave $500,000 in donations to various charities during the recent election year. How many jobs could we have saved if we gave Inventory Tax relief instead of buying votes?

  2. David u hit right on the money with this one. Also Simpson dura-vent was bought a Russian steel company and they also problably did an cost estimate to see if this market was doing for the company Return of Investment. But the big mstake of the county supes to grant a tax break not only shows bad business but it shows to other within a corporations how out of touch they are with the real business world. Now with over 170 people out of work some are going to stay and others are going to move on. Question is what next industry is going to pull out from the harbor next due this antiquated tax.

  3. At the core of the problem is Vicksburg and Warren County do NOT have a credible proactive economic development program. It is good old boy cronyism. How much true economic development experience does the Executive Director of the Port Commision have? There is a huge difference between planning and economic development. What is the last project the Port Commission actively and competitively won/ Probably the twon (now one) Nissan supplier. The whole economic development process in vicksburg and Warren County is laughable from the egomaniacal Mayor to the incompetent Port Commission. Simpson may be the only company to leave Mississippi for the “wonderful” business climate in California-usually firms are leaving California. That in itself speaks volumes!

  4. The problem goes back to the good ole boy issue. Now corporations have gotten smart on this place. For they can now use its small population against them; the fact there are too many taxes and a lack of restraunts and other anemeties. Corporations are dumb they know this place far better than the mayor and port commissioner could ever imagine. I wouldn’t surprise if a few have asked them how come your port facilities haven’t been improved.

  5. In reading all of the above posts,it would seem that our County Supervisors need to be made aware of these facts. Has anyone contacted them directly and questioned them about the tax and asked them how does this city and county hope to expand when we are running companies off?

    We can’t expece companies to stay here if they can’t make money…that’s the name of the game!

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