The Pascagoula Hilton Garden Inn is dollar-for-dollar one of the biggest welfare queens in the county.
The literal groundwork for the hotel was paid for by federal taxpayers, in the form of a $3.3 million grant from HUD, through the MDA and the City of Pascagoula. This was used to do the site work, move utilities, and install proper drainage for the facility.
Then the developers benefited from a $6.5 million capital contribution from 13 foreign investors. The State Department runs a program whereby foreign investors can get a visa leading to a green card if they invest $500,000 or more in impoverished areas. These wealthy foreigners are more concerned about the visa than the investment return. Many look at it as a way of “buying” a green card.
Foreign investors paid $500,000 for a 2% slice of the Pascagoula Hilton. Morris Strickland claimed they spent $20 million building the hotel. If that is the case, the 2% of $20 million is only $400,000. These investors have already lost 20% of the value of their investment.
Long-term financing came to the hotel in the form of two loans utilizing the New Markets Tax Credit program. The total $5.2 million loan also provides tax credits (subsidies) to investors who build in poor areas. The hotel has until 2052 to pay off the loan. Very favorable terms.
Through favored federal programs, the Pascagoula Hilton Garden Inn has raked in $15 million. Now it is going back to the trough to ask for another $1.36 million from the city of Pascagoula. They claim it is to reimburse the developers for “infrastructure,” even though $3.3 million of federal money was already spent to build new roads that increased the value of the property.
Call your Pascagoula city mayor or council-person and tell them NO! you do not want any more welfare for millionaire foreign investors.
Harry J. Blevins
603 Watts Avenue
Pascagoula, MS 39567
Marvin L. Pickett, Sr.
(228) 218 – 3531
(228) 669 9603