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Mississippi Approves $44 Million in Incentives For Amazon Project in Madison County

Lawmakers stand behind a podium. The great seal of the state of Mississippi is behind them.
Lawmakers and other state officials joined Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves, center, as he announced a special session of the Legislature to support efforts to bring a tech company that will invest $10 billion to build two data processing centers to central Mississippi, during a Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024, news conference in Jackson, Miss. Reeves asked the Republican-controlled Legislature to meet in a special session Thursday to approve $44 million in state incentives. Photo courtesy House Speaker Jason White/Twitter

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi lawmakers quickly approved on Thursday job training money and other state incentives to support a plan by Amazon Web Services to spend $10 billion to build two data processing centers in the central part of the state.

Republican Gov. Tate Reeves had announced Wednesday that a tech company would build the centers at two sites north of the capital city of Jackson, but he withheld the company’s name until after legislators approved a $44 million incentive package. Most of the state money, $32 million, will go toward job training programs.

“Mississippi is building a business climate that is ripe for further growth, especially in the technology sector,” Reeves said Thursday. “On top of that, we’re doing what it takes to prepare our workforce to take on these high-paying jobs of the future.”

Reeves said the project will be the state’s largest-ever private corporate investment — four times larger than the previous record.

He said the data centers could be at least partially open by 2027. He said he expects 1,000 jobs to be created, with salaries of more than $66,000.

“This is going to have a tremendous impact on generations to come,” Appropriations Committee Vice Chair Angela Cockerham, an independent from Magnolia, told her House colleagues. The two sites are in Madison County Reeves said. One is a short drive from the Jackson city limit, and the other is close to a Nissan automotive manufacturing plant near Canton.

During a brief special session Thursday, legislators approved an incentive package with broad bipartisan support. They authorized Madison County to borrow $215.1 million from the state to pay for improvements to roads and the extension of water and sewer systems. Legislative leaders said the money will be repaid by fees the company will pay to the county in place of taxes.

Democrats in the Legislature have said the governor has failed to pursue economic development in predominantly Black areas in the western part of the state.

Senate Finance Committee Chair Josh Harkins, a Republican from Flowood, said Thursday that the data centers would be linked with another energy production project that would drive investment in several parts of the state, including areas represented by Democrats in central Mississippi’s Hinds County and in Washington and Tallahatchie counties, which are farther north.

“The cherry on top of this is that there is another project that will be injecting billions of dollars of investment into Mississippi through Entergy’s efforts for energy transmission and power generation,” Harkins said.

Mississippi legislators met in special session last week and approved incentives for a factory that will manufacture batteries for electric vehicles. It will be in Marshall County, which is in the far northern end of the state near the Tennessee state line.

Associated Press/Report For America reporter Michael Goldberg contributed to this report.

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