Mill ‘good thing'

Published 5:18 pm Wednesday, May 9, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell – news writer
Escambia County residents are among a large number of people who are waiting on the announcement from a German steel company revealing the choice for an expansion. Choices have been narrowed to a Louisiana site or a site in north Mobile County in Alabama.
ThyssenKrupp AG, based in Duesseldorf, will consider where to place the plant at its Friday meeting in Germany.
Baker said the Legislature passed an incentive package recently that was aimed at attracting the company to Alabama.
Alabama's Legislature just passed a package of tax breaks for the mill - on top of a $400 million incentives package designed to attract the steel mill and other major industries to the state. Louisiana passed a similar package last year approving a $300 million fund for site improvements and construction in an effort to attract the company to their state. Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who pushed the legislature there to approve the package, is asking legislators to add another $100 million to that fund.
The steel plant could produce offspring to include feeder plants near the site chosen by the company.
ThyssenKrupp is considering the building of a $2.9 billion steel plant that will employee 2,700 people. The plant should be operational in its new location by 2010, officials with the company said in a press release. The competition for the site location has had 30 states vying for an opportunity to be the company's new home in America.
Baker said another issue on the minds of legislators has been a proposed tax break for Alabama tax payers.
Both proposals would see tax cuts for all Alabama families making up to $100,000. The governor's proposal would seek to replace tax cuts and the proposal by Knight would call for the removal sales tax on food items.
Baker said both proposals are still under consideration and have not been brought up for a vote.
Baker was elected to his position as representative in the November 2006 election. He has offices in Brewton and Montgomery.