The Laurel City Council unanimously approved a five-year tax credit for the developers of Hawthorne Place, a 306-unit luxury apartment complex planned on 11 acres along Staggers Road.

The tax credit, which begins in 2015 and runs through 2019, relieves the developer, Patriot Realty, of 60 percent of the city's levied property taxes.

According to City Council President Fred Smalls, the developer was granted the credit after applying through the city's tax credit program.

"The tax credit is one of our economic development tools," said Smalls. "It helps the development gain some finances to get the project moving forward. ... It's one of those tools that's used all over the county and all over the state to help spur development."

The council has implemented similar tax breaks for other development around the city. For the Towne Centre Laurel development at the site of the former Laurel Mall, city officials implemented tax increment financing or TIF. The TIF increases the developer's cash flow to help fund public improvements and also protects the city if the project is not completed.