Officials from a solar panel manufacturer in the Hattiesburg-Forrest County Industrial Park have agreed to pay $75,000 per month for not meeting the terms of a Fee-in-Lieu of Ad Valorem Taxation Agreement.
According to a Payment and Forbearance Agreement, Stion Corp. will begin the payments Wednesday. The payments will be split between Hattiesburg, Forrest County and Hattiesburg Public School District: slightly more than 27 percent to the city, 35 percent to the county and 37 percent to the schools, based on applicable millage rates.
“At the insistence of the Forrest County Board of Supervisors, Stion has agreed to pay (the fee) until such time that their arrears due are caught up and they become current,” board president David Hogan said. “Basically, they’ll start paying that in back taxes until such time that their tax debt is brought current.”
In November 2015, Area Development Partnership officials announced Stion would not meet its 2018 projections of a minimum of $400 million in capital investment in Hattiesburg and 1,000 workers hired, as set out in the March 2011 Memorandum of Understanding with the city.
Stion had been working closely with the Mississippi Development Authority to rework the terms of its original $75 million loan with the state. Capital investment projection numbers were lowered to $250 million by December 2019 and job creation numbers dropped to 500 by December 2022.
As of late 2015, the company had invested $125 million and currently employs about 125.