Gov. Deal’s first applause line this morning was about repealing the sales tax on energy used in manufacturing.
“In an age of much higher energy costs, this will impact a large component of manufacturers’ overall cost structure and vastly improve the competitive position of our producers,” Deal said. “Today, in executive offices right here in Georgia, business leaders are making the business decision to expand manufacturing activity and facilities in neighboring states. Every time they make that decision, we miss out on new investment in our communities and new job opportunities for Georgians.”
Deal also premiered two new tax cut proposals.
Two other proposals are new. One would exempt large developments from sales tax on construction materials. He also wants to extend to small businesses a tax credit for the creation of 50 jobs. He’ll lower that threshold to just 15 new hires.
“This will reshape the landscape in Georgia for small-business owners,” he said. “Most companies now listed in the S&P 500 began with 50 or fewer employees.”
He also said he is asking for $46 million in bond funding to help local communities build reservoirs to augment their supply of drinking water.
Speaking of water, Deal said, “”We must create new reservoirs to address Georgia’s long-term water needs.”
Deal discussed the deepening project for Savannah:
[Deal] announced he will recommend another $47 million in bond borrowing for the deepening of the shipping channel in the Savannah River while continuing to lobby Washington for federal funding. The new money would bring $136 million in state funding toward the $600 million project.
“A completed harbor expansion means a more competitive Georgia, offering customers greater value,” he said in a speech at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s annual Eggs and Issues breakfast. “I can assure you that we are doing everything in our power to see this project through to completion.”