Miss. lawmakers consider aid for Cooper Tire plant

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi lawmakers would give the first $8 million of a three-year pledge to Tupelo’s Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. plant under a plan to borrow about $230 million for numerous projects that faces further revisions by the House and Senate.
Saturday was the deadline for House and Senate lawmakers to agree on new bonds, but top lawmakers on Sunday sent House Bill 787 and Senate Bill 2975 back to a joint committee to rewrite them, meaning exact numbers for projects could change, as could other provisions of the legislation.
Once the bills are rewritten, the full House and Senate must still pass them and send them to Republican Gov. Phil Bryant.
One bill calls for giving Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. up to $20 million over three years. Officials hope the aid, plus $20 million in local property tax breaks, will entice Findlay-based Cooper to spend $140 million at its 1,600-employee Tupelo plant to modernize.
The company hasn’t decided where it expects to spend the money and hasn’t pledged to increase jobs.
“Obviously Cooper Tire has been a longtime corporate partner in Tupelo,” said Lt. Gov Tate Reeves, a Republican.

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