The Gulfport tax abatement district aids in spurring new construction starts

Anyone driving along Highway 90 and the streets south of the railroad track in Gulfport is seeing a welcome sight: new houses are being built and occupied, lots that have been vacant for 10 years are selling, and existing home sales are increasing — a good sign for morale and the economy.

Builders and city officials say there are a number of contributing factors to this rebirth, but significant among them is Gulfport’s tax abatement program. This city ordinance, adopted in 2015, established the Highway 90 Tax Abatement District South of the CSX Railroad track from city line to city line, the Downtown Tax Abatement District and the Centennial Plaza District.

New residential construction, renovation or improvement fronting Highway 90 with a minimum cost of $400,000 (excluding price of land) is released from paying city ad valorem taxes for seven years. Construction, renovation or improvement on lots in this district but not fronting Highway 90 must cost a minimum of $100,000 to benefit from the tax abatement program. There are also provisions for multi-family and commercial development.

The city of Gulfport is one of the first Coastal cities to adopt the tax abatement program and with its success hopefully cities like Biloxi, Long Beach, Pass Christian and Ocean Springs will follow suit in hopes of improving the overall MS Gulf Coast Real Estate market.