Rouse Rubber withdrawing request for county tax break

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 6, 2000

Rather than pay county taxes from two years ago, a Vicksburg industry will withdraw a request for partial ad valorem exemption on improvements.

Warren County supervisors said Tuesday that Rouse Rubber Industries Inc. would have until Thursday to pay what is owed or lose a possible future exemption from the county.

“We need to write them a letter emphasizing our position on granting tax exemptions,” District 4 Supervisor Bill Lauderdale said.

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Under state law, both the city and county offer a variety of exemptions to new or existing industries to encourage industrial development, but supervisors say they will not grant a new exemption to an industry that has a past-due bill.

The company had asked for a five-year exemption on a $537,000 expansion at the facility on U.S. 61 South from the county and the city. The exemption would have saved Rouse Rubber about $5,100 a year for 10 years.

A spokesman for Rouse Rubber, Karen Brown, said this morning that the company would be withdrawing the request for exemptions, “because it won’t save that much money.”

Records show Rouse Rubber owes about $150,000 in real and personal property taxes from 1998 and 1999.

The real property taxes from 1999 were auctioned at the county tax sale on Aug. 28.

“It will be paid,” Brown said. “Very soon.”

The city board took up the request from Rouse Rubber on July 6, but had not completed the tax exemption.

“We decided to hold it until the county took its action,” said Mayor Robert Walker.

Rouse Rubber was denied a tax exemption request from the county in 1998 when supervisors learned that the industry had failed to pay taxes from 1997.

“I thought they got the message last time,” said District 2 Supervisor Michael Mayfield.

The board eventually approved the request after the company had paid the past-due taxes.

In other matters the board:

Approved two new road names, Pepper Ridge Road and Applewood Drive, both off U.S. 80.

Approved two utility permits on Grange Hall and Freetown roads.

Authorized advertising for bids for the fall resurfacing program.

Supervisors will meet again at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Warren County Courthouse.