Big River Steel bill moves on to Governor's desk - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Big River Steel bill moves on to Governor's desk

Big River Steel grand opening (Source: KAIT) Big River Steel grand opening (Source: KAIT)
Sen. Dave Wallace, R-Leachville (Source: Arkansas State Senate) Sen. Dave Wallace, R-Leachville (Source: Arkansas State Senate)
Rep. Monte Hodges, D-Blytheville (Source: Arkansas State House) Rep. Monte Hodges, D-Blytheville (Source: Arkansas State House)
LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) -

A bill that was approved by the Arkansas legislature on Friday will allow Mississippi County to compete for a $900 million economic development project that supporters say will make the county the "21st Century version of Pittsburgh."

Both the Senate and House approved Senate Bill 688, sponsored by Sen. Dave Wallace, R-Leachville and Rep. Monte Hodges, D-Blytheville.

The bill will help the county vie for the second phase of the Big River Steel project. Wallace told senators that Arkansas is competing against Florida and Texas for the project, which is expected to create at least 150 jobs with an average salary of $75,000. 

According to the bill, the bill would amend the state's income tax credit for waste reduction, reuse or recycling equipment to provide up to an $11 million tax credit for the project.

"(It) is issued to the taxpayer making the purchase of waste reduction, reuse or recycling equipment under subdivision (c) (1) of this section may be claimed each tax year if the tax credits are allowed with respect to a qualified expansion project," the bill noted.

There were several senators who questioned the tax credit issue during the debate.

However, both Wallace and Sen. Jake Files, R-Fort Smith, said there would be protections in place including having a 1:1 ratio for jobs created versus the amount of the money claimed under the credit as well as requiring the jobs and salaries to be created within a certain period of time.

Wallace said the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Department of Finance and Administration have been working with Big River Steel officials on the bill.

Company officials earlier this month hosted a grand opening in Osceola for the first phase of the project. 

At the time, officials said the mill would recycle two million tons of scrap metal and create 1.6 million tons of finished steel. 

Wallace said the first phase has helped bring other businesses to Blytheville and Osceola. 

"It is a net positive for Arkansas and the Delta," Wallace said. 

The bill now heads to Governor Asa Hutchinson for approval.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Watch Region 8 News On Demand: On your Desktop | On your Mobile device

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • Highway reopens after truck carrying steel coil flips

    Highway reopens after truck carrying steel coil flips

    Thursday, June 21 2018 1:56 PM EDT2018-06-21 17:56:53 GMT
    Thursday, June 21 2018 4:46 PM EDT2018-06-21 20:46:47 GMT
    Photo from firefighters in Blytheville show a semi flipped over on Hwy. 18. (Source: Blytheville Professional Firefighters Local 5014 via Facebook)Photo from firefighters in Blytheville show a semi flipped over on Hwy. 18. (Source: Blytheville Professional Firefighters Local 5014 via Facebook)

    According to the Arkansas Department of Transportation, Highway 18 has reopened after being closed for over 2 hours. 

    According to the Arkansas Department of Transportation, Highway 18 has reopened after being closed for over 2 hours. 

  • Out-of-county liquor stores fighting against Randolph Co. wet/dry issue

    Out-of-county liquor stores fighting against Randolph Co. wet/dry issue

    Thursday, June 21 2018 1:01 PM EDT2018-06-21 17:01:39 GMT
    Thursday, June 21 2018 4:35 PM EDT2018-06-21 20:35:12 GMT
    A new campaign report shows who is donating money to fight against a potential wet/dry vote in Randolph County. (Source: KAIT)A new campaign report shows who is donating money to fight against a potential wet/dry vote in Randolph County. (Source: KAIT)

    A group fighting to prevent Randolph County from allowing liquor sales is funded by several liquor stores, including 2 from Missouri.

    A group fighting to prevent Randolph County from allowing liquor sales is funded by several liquor stores, including 2 from Missouri.

  • Severe storms moving through Region 8

    Severe storms moving through Region 8

    Thursday, June 21 2018 3:24 PM EDT2018-06-21 19:24:07 GMT
    Thursday, June 21 2018 3:44 PM EDT2018-06-21 19:44:51 GMT

    The Region 8 StormTeam is tracking storms moving across the area.

    The Region 8 StormTeam is tracking storms moving across the area.

Powered by Frankly