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On April 2, Balch attorneys helped to extend the Historic Tax Credit bill of Mississippi, which had been facing expiration at the end of 2014. The Mississippi Historic Tax Credit, passed in 2006, was created to inspire the restoration of historic buildings throughout Mississippi. The credit offers a 25 percent tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic structures used for residential or business purposes.

Through grassroots community development, Balch helped raise awareness about the importance of this bill. Matthew McLaughlin, partner in the Corporate Finance & Securities and Real Estate, Lending & Commercial Practice Groups in Jackson, Miss. and Bo Baxter, associate in the Corporate Finance and Securities Practice Group in Jackson, Miss., created a white paper that outlined a synopsis of the benefits of the tax credit bill, whose expiration would kill many active projects in Mississippi and affect 3,000 jobs over the next three years. The white paper garnered mass attention and helped to assist in the passing of this bill. The white paper was referenced by a Jackson city councilman and mayoral candidate, as well as in an academic article.

In the white paper, McLaughlin stated, “The Mississippi Historic Tax Credit has been one of the most impactful incentives used to revitalize rural and urban Mississippi main street corridors, triggering highly localized economic development and preserving Mississippi’s rich cultural heritage.”

Balch’s grassroots community development efforts succeeded in a successful effectuation legislative action that created positive conversations about community and economic development in Mississippi.