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Supervisors debating tax break for expansion

MENDENHALL — Simpson County supervisors are considering a tax exemption for an anticipated expansion of an underground natural gas storage facility now under construction.

Supervisors met this week with officials of Mississippi Hub, a unit of San Diego-based Sempra Energy.

Under state law, companies that invest more than $100 million in the state can seek a payment in lieu of taxes from both the local government and the school boards.

Mississippi Hub received approval for such tax-equivalent payments on its initial investment of $250 million.

Wilson Mont Joy, attorney representing Mississippi Hub, declined comment after meeting in closed session with supervisors.

Supervisor Pete Lowery said the issue will be discussed again when supervisors meet April 15.

Lowery said Mississippi Hub if the county approves the request, the county and the school district would share about $1 million annually.

Mississippi Hub has permits for two natural gas storage caverns at the Bond Salt Dome in Simpson County. Once completed, the caverns will hold up to 12 billion cubic feet of natural gas. The caverns are expected to be completed this year.

The company is considering an additional two caverns.

Company spokesman Chip Berglund tells the Magee Courier that expansion of the facility will be based on what is in the best financial interest of the company.

Berglund said there are two other locations that have the same capabilities as the Mississippi Hub facility. One is located in McIntosh, Ala. and the other in Kenner, La.

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