HB to boost Ga economy - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

HB to boost Ga economy

Posted: Updated:

April 22, 2008

Valdosta - A new bill could help launch Georgia out of it's economic slump.

House Bill 1273 would offer job tax credits to qualified businesses.

If approved, Valdosta City leaders believe it will help them create more employment opportunities and help recruit retailers to the area.

Like the land is on James Road.  It's an area that has had no success in bringing in revenue or attracting industries.  Perhaps it's too close to the highway or to far away to conveniently travel.

But city leaders in Valdosta have plans to develop it into a new retail hub and hope a house bill will help them attract business to this location.

"We believe its going to have an immediate effect on helping us generate additional retail and commercial business in Valdosta," says Valdosta City Manager Larry Hanson.

Since the area is in economic distress, it would qualify for job tax credit under House Bill 1273.

That means if a retailer moves in, he'll get a $3500 tax credit for every employee he hires for five years.  "Getting a $3500 tax credit per employee is a significant economic boost for areas that are struggling," says State Senator Tim Golden.

The James Road project expects to create 400 new jobs, meaning the retailers that move in will get a $7 million tax break.

That's a huge incentive to attract retailers, create jobs and revitalize the area.  "This could be the difference between a retail store relocating to Valdosta or any where in the state of Georgia or some other state," Hanson says.

Golden agrees.  "We need the bill now. It's great stimulus at a perfect time During a slowing economy to give these employers and retail sectors a boost right now.

And hopefully help stimulate the economy state wide.

Governor Perdue has 30 days to either sign or veto the bill. If he doesn't act, it will become law.

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