Health care zone college and university criteria bill goes to governor

healthcare8_1The list of ways to set up a Healthcare Industry Zone is likely close to growing by one.

Lawmakers have passed and sent to Gov. Phil Bryant legislation that would allow the Mississippi Development Authority to establish the incentive-laden zones in areas where a health care facility sits within a five-mile radius of a college university that awards health care-related degrees or trains existing workers for jobs in the healthcare or pharmaceutical field.

The criteria joins several existing rules. Currently, potential health care zones must be situated in three contiguous counties that have certificates of need of more than 375 acute care hospital beds. A single county can qualify if a hospital that represents a minimum capital investment of $250 million will be completed before July 1, 2017.

Existing facilities located within a five-mile radius of another facility with a CON for hospital beds.

Existing law requires that qualifying facilities be engaged in the research and development of pharmaceuticals, biologics, biotechnology, diagnostic imaging, medical supplies, medical equipment or medicine and related manufacturing or processing, medical service providers, medical product distribution or laboratory testing that creates a minimum of 25 new full-time jobs and/or $10 million of capital investment after July 1, 2012.

Incentives offered an accelerated, 10-year state income tax depreciation deduction and a sales tax exemption for equipment and material purchased from the date of the project’s certification until three months after its completion.

Lawmakers passed and Bryant signed the original law during the 2012 session.

The Legislature adopted the conference report for the college and university addendum April 1. It now heads to Bryant.

Spokesperson Mick Bullock told the Mississippi Business Journal April 1 that he anticipates Bryant will sign the legislation.

Health care zones have recently undergone administrative rules changes, too. In early March, the Mississippi Home Corp. issued its 2013 Qualified Action Plan that allows Section 42, commonly called affordable rental housing, developments to locate within areas that qualify for health care zone incentives, as long as there is an existing master plan to establish one.

So far, it’s believed that Holly Springs is the only town whose local officials have officially authorized a master plan. Housing developments under the Home Corp.’s rules are planned for that town’s health care zone.

The Home Corp. said in its housing rule enactment that housing clusters in health care zones would help the areas recruit the targeted healthcare industries.

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One Response to “Health care zone college and university criteria bill goes to governor”

  1. Julia O'Neal Says:

    And reject billions of federal Medicare money that would give jobs to the health care professionals?

    Someone is not in their right mind.

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