This is a matter of trust. The possibility that the Georgia Department of Revenue may be seeking reimbursement of realized tax credits under a new and narrow interpretation of a 1998 law is very disturbing. The law allows for income tax credits for increased traffic through the Georgia ports. The state must stand behind the tools it offers to those who create more jobs in our state. We should not offer Georgia companies a tax incentive to increase port traffic with one hand and then renege on that offer with another hand and ask for additional taxes.
When the original law was created, it was widely understood that its purpose was to provide more competitive job and investment tax credits to new and expanding businesses that increase their imports and exports through Georgia ports. Georgia has used this aggressive incentive to compete with Charleston for traffic and the state continues to offer the incentive to lure many new companies to Georgia.
If the law is unclear and needs to be revisited, then that is a matter for the legislature to debate. But we should never ask for money back after a tax credit is used in good faith by Georgia