How much do incentives cost per job?

By Steve Wilson
February 25, 2019

Mississippi taxpayers, both at the state and local levels, often provide rafts of incentives to lure new industry to a community and “create” jobs.

The Mississippi Development Authority has several infrastructure and job training grant programs and tax incentives that include rebates on income tax paid by employees. Counties can offer tax breaks on property taxes, which support local schools and other local government services.

Here are some of the more recent examples, with calculations on how much the incentives cost per job.


According to a story from Memphis TV station WREG, Mississippi taxpayers will be paying a heavy price in grants and tax incentives to get a German agricultural implement company to move its North American headquarters and 45 jobs across the state line from Memphis to Olive Branch.

Mississippi will provide a $7.3 million in property and inventory tax breaks, in addition to a $250,000 grant to relocate its equipment. Krone could also receive incentives that rebate some income taxes for its employees to the company, provided the workers are paid at least $37,521 annually.

That could add up to $675,000 annually over the next decade.

All of those incentives, if realized, could add up to $8,225,000 or about $182,777 per job.


Amazon announced in December that it will be building a fulfillment center in Marshall County in north Mississippi. The 554,000-square-foot center will employ 850 with a $15 per hour minimum wage and these employees will pick, pack and ship household consumer goods to customers.

Mississippi taxpayers will provide a $2 million grant for construction assistance and a $4 million grant for road improvements, according to MDA spokeswoman Tammy Craft. Marshall County will provide about $6.3 million in assistance for road improvements and a property tax exemption.

All of those incentives, if realized, could add up to $12.3 million or about $14,470 per job.


Enviva and Mississippi officials announced that the company — which makes wood pellets that fuel overseas power plants — will build a $140 million pellet mill and a $60 million loading terminal at the port in Pascagoula.

Enviva is expected to hire 90 employees in Lucedale, with 300 loggers and truckers possibly finding work supplying logs to the company.

Mississippi taxpayers will be providing $4 million in grant funds, with $1.4 million for a water well and a water tank, while the other $2.5 million is for other infrastructure needs and site working, according to Craft. George County will provide $13 million in property tax breaks over the next 10 years.

All of those incentives, if realized, could add up to $17 million or about $188,888 per job.

Counting the jobs of loggers and truckers not directly employed at the George County pellet mill, that figure shrinks to $43,589 per job.


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