Natchez tax abatements – a valuable incentive

Published 3:05 pm Saturday, August 20, 2022

A little over a year ago, the City of Natchez broadened an important incentive for growth – our Property Tax Abatement. We did this to encourage further development of existing properties in our community, many of which are in need of renewal.

Mayor Dan Gibson

While our city benefits greatly from historic tax credits, offering more than any other city in the state, we felt it important to make local tax abatements available to even more property owners across a wider area in our city. Different from tax credits, which are only applicable to state and federal taxes, local tax abatements provide benefits at the city level. And we want to make sure property owners and investors are taking advantage of them!

Following are some key points:

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The ordinance allows for a seven year tax abatement on renovations of at least $20,000 and a three year tax abatement on renovations of at least $5,000 to properties located within any of the seven historic districts of the city. This encompasses all of downtown and many areas both north and south of downtown and other surrounding areas, to include any landmark properties.
The abatement ensures that property taxes remain unchanged for seven years (or three years for renovations under $20,000), regardless of how much the property value increases due to a renovation. This applies to both primary homes and investment properties.
Tax abatement applications must be submitted to the City of Natchez along with supplemental materials such as cost estimates and invoices for review and approval by the city.
All projects within the preservation districts must be reviewed by the Natchez Preservation Commission.
Abatements are for city taxes only. County and school taxes are not included. Tax adjustments due to a re-assessment of “pre-renovation” property values may still apply.

During a time when new construction costs are still high, renovation of existing properties with the tax incentives that are now in place makes perfect sense, and “cents”. We are very grateful that our city continues to set records in terms of renovation projects. Over the past year, we have issued over 1,000 building permits representing millions of dollars in redevelopment of houses and buildings. Natchez currently has more historic renovations taking place than any other city in the state. And we want to make sure this continues!

For further information on the tax abatement program, contact the Natchez City Planner’s office at 601-445-7518.

We are soon going to be considering some other tax abatement programs. For example, we would like to extend the property tax abatement to other areas of Natchez by creating Residential Renewal Districts, something we explored last year but have yet to implement. And we are exploring tax abatements that would encourage other forms of redevelopment and investment in our city, both commercial and residential. We need it!

It is exciting to see the growth occurring in Natchez. And we are working harder than ever to make sure it continues. In today’s economy, while other parts of the country are feeling the effects of what many are calling a pending recession, we are blessed. It doesn’t hurt that we are “America’s Most Affordable City” (Diamond and Moretti/NPR).

Our Natchez Renewal is strong. Our Natchez Current moves ever forward. The opportunities are here. And Natchez Deserves More.

Dan Gibson is mayor of Natchez.