Georgia manufacturers welcome energy tax cap - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia manufacturers welcome energy tax cap

Posted: Updated:

May 13, 2008

Dougherty County -- Governor Sonny Perdue is expected to sign a bill Wednesday that will put a cap on the sales tax manufacturers pay for electricity and natural gas. South Georgia industries say it's a good first step toward making the state more competitive for economic growth and jobs.

Energy is the largest expense for the Procter and Gamble Paper Plant in Albany. P&G spokesperson Vince Falcione said "we are the second largest user of electricity in the state of Georgia. And you add the natural gas, we spend about $200,000 a day on energy."

 P&G must pay four percent state sales tax on every dollar, close to four million dollars a year in taxes that other states don't charge their manufacturers. And that's a big reason many large industries have not been coming to Georgia.  

Falcione said "it's cheaper to do business in a South Carolina or an Alabama. And we've lost plants here in Georgia to other states."

Wednesday Governor Sonny Perdue will sign into law a cap on the state's energy sales tax, as gas and electricity costs skyrocket. Industries say the 2008 Legislature took a number of steps to become more attractive for big manufacturers.

Falcione said "Georgia recognizes that it's time to get on a level playing field, and do what we can to bring manufacturing jobs to this state, to keep manufacturing jobs in this state, to help economic development."

 Large industries like P&G want Georgia to eliminate the state sales tax completely, like Tennessee, Missouri, and North Carolina already have this year. But they are happy about the cap the Governor will sign into law Wednesday and believe it will help create more jobs in Georgia.

The Procter and Gamble plant in Albany has a 350 million dollar impact on the local economy every year and more than one billion dollar impact on the state's economy.

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