“He clearly has a jobs agenda,” said Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce President Al Hodge after the annual Eggs and Issues Breakfast in Atlanta on Tuesday.
Deal proposed the elimination of the sales tax on energy used in manufacturing.
“It is a major priority for us so we were happy that the governor has fully endorsed it,” Hodge said.
“This will impact a large component of manufacturers’ overall cost structure and vastly improve the competitive position of our producers,” Gov. Deal said.
The governor, as a result of recommendations from his Georgia Competitiveness Initiative Task Force, is also going to ask the General Assembly to provide sales and use tax exemptions for construction materials used in projects of regional significance.
“That will be an advantage for jobs for Georgia, too, and us in Floyd County as well,” Hodge said.
The governor’s jobs package will also include a reduction of the quality job creation threshold from 50 to 15 jobs to get Quality Jobs Tax credits. The governor said the change should be an important benefit to start-up businesses.
“Obviously with 15 (employees) a smaller enterprise could take advantage of it,” Hodge said.
“Manufacturing and smaller business will both be able to take advantage of that,” Hodge said.
Deal said the result would give local governments additional options to incentivize investment and job growth.
The governor indicated he would ask for $46.7 million in bonds to deepen the Savannah harbor and $45.7 million for the creation of regional water reservoirs. Hodge said the bond proposal offers hope that funding would be found to sell bonds for the creation of the Tennis Center of Georgia at Berry College.
“He specifically did not name that this morning. There’s always hope because of the direct opportunity for jobs for Georgia. We are certainly hopeful that there will be some bond money in the package,” said Hodge.