Olive Branch Poised To Benefit From Corporate HQ Bill

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(Olive Branch, MS) Newly-elected Olive Branch Mayor Scott Phillips says building permits are up and the economy is moving again.

”It seems to be on the rebound obviously we’ve seen with the building permits and fees like that so we’re on the move again," he said.

Olive Branch is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. It has lots of land, available workers and a busy airport -- all things the mayor says make his city the best candidate to lure a corporate headquarters.

”Corporate headquarters is something we all want. I mean, obviously higher paying jobs and we’ll do what we have to do on behalf of the City to make it happen," he said.

So far, state lawmakers are close to passing an incentive bill to help bring a headquarters here, since International Paper considered leaving Memphis for DeSoto.

A Washington-based watchdog group detailed the economic tug-o-war between Memphis and DeSoto County in a report called “The Job Creation Shell Game.” The trick seems to be to lure companies and then convince them to stay put.

But the group “Good Jobs First” says when corporations go shopping for the best tax deal, keeping those companies is hard to do.

Meanwhile, no less a visionary than Ross Perot Junior has bought up land in DeSoto with an eye to the future.

”He’s a forward thinker and he said recently this County was ready for a corporate headquarters to come in,” said representative Pat Nelson, who says help from the legislature is on the way.

”We’ll keep working on on those and we’ll get that corporate headquarters bill in the 2014 session," Nelson said.

And Phillips says it’ll happen soon.

”Oh, let’s shoot for maybe a year," he said.