Tax break reduced for manufacturers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tax break reduced for manufacturers

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Manufacturers in Dougherty County won't get as big a tax break as they originally hoped. Monday, Dougherty County Commissioners jumped on board with city leaders to continue taxing local industries for energy use.

Commissioners say that will keep them from putting an extra burden on taxpayers. County commissioners said that if they didn't implement this excise tax, the money would have to come from somewhere else.

Now, manufacturers are still getting a tax cut, just not as much as they planned.

Dougherty County commissioners say they had no choice, but to continue to tax local manufacturers on energy use. 

"We just cannot afford it, said Commissioner Jack Stone.

"W simply cannot to lose that one penny, it would be just too dramatic for our budget to withstand, said commissioner Gloria Gaines.

At Monday's meeting commissioners unanimously approved an agreement with the city to implement an energy excise tax on manufacturers.

The state recently decided to phase out the state sales tax on energy use over four years, resulting in a six percent reduction. But counties and cities across Georgia were given the option to implement a two percent excise tax to make up for lost revenue.

"The city and the county are continuing to do what they've always done so that they don't have to have a tax increase on manufacturers or have a tax increase on anyone, there is no room to put anymore tax on the burden of our taxpayers," said Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard.

P&G officials weren't surprised by the decision. "Our local leaders, they have all the data and they know what's best for our citizens and our community. And I trust what they do," said P&G Manager Vince Falcione.

The state cut this tax to save these industries millions of dollars and also make Georgia more attractive to large industries. For now manufacturers are grateful for the four percent tax reduction they were able to still receive.

"We're very appreciative of the Governor and the state legislators to give us the state portion of the tax. Hopefully, the next year or two the budget will improve and the economy will improve and locals can take another look at it. We understand," Falcione said.

The city and county will split the revenue, which is estimated to be between one and two million dollars a year.   

No one has an exact number on how much revenue will be brought in. Officials say they'll have a more accurate number in about six months to a year. And commissioners can remove this excise tax at any time if they feel it's preventing large industries from coming to Dougherty County.

The tax goes into effect on January 1st and will be phased in over the course of four years.

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