Police Jury approves apps for new businesses

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By Stacey Tinsley, stinsley@bossierpress.com

The Bossier Parish Police Jury has approved tax breaks for two manufacturers that will create jobs.

During the May 1 police jury meeting, jurors voted to approve recommendations of the Bossier Parish Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP) Review Committee regarding the application of CellXion, LLC, and Centric Pipe, LLC.

Bossier Parish Police Jury President Doug Rimmer addressed the jury and advised them that the recommendation of the committee was to approve the applications.

Currently, the Bossier Parish Police Jury, School Board, Sheriff and Bossier City have created an advisory committee for all ITEP applications within the parish.

The committee, comprised of appointees from each entity, listens to the ITEP applications collectively and votes on the applications. 

After the committee has voted, then at that time they take the recommendation back to their respective boards, which have to vote separately and have the authority to grant the application.

Bossier Parish has added a provision within their contracts that any entity involved in the voting on the application can also revoke the exemption.

“It will be on the contract for Bossier City, the Sheriff, School Board and you, the police jury. So, even if the city thinks they are doing great and you think they are not, you can revoke the contract,” said Bobby Edmiston, Bossier Parish tax assessor. 

The Louisiana Industrial Tax Exemption Program was created in 1936 to attract manufactures. Until 2016, a state board approved applications to exempt local projects from local property taxes, with no say from local governments. No job creation measure was attached to exemption applications.

The program underwent significant changes in 2016 under Gov. John Bel Edwards. He issued executive orders that established a job creation component, narrowed eligibility and gave local governments a say in whether to grant the exemptions.