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Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - 1:37pm

Deal Proposes Tax Relief For Business

Gov. Nathan Deal is promoting a slate of tax proposals to help the state attract and retain businesses. He unveiled them at the annual Eggs and Issues breakfast Monday in Atlanta.

Gov. Deal wants to give tax credits to businesses that create as few as 15 jobs. Currently, companies don’t receive them until they pledge to hire 50 people.

He’s also reviving a plan to remove a tax on energy used in manufacturing.

The ideas stem from a year-long competitiveness initiative. State leaders held forums last summer with executives to learn how Georgia can better compete with other states.

“Right here in Georgia business leaders are making business decisions to expand manufacturing activity and facilities in neighboring states," he told the crowd of 3,000. Every time they make that decision, we miss out on new investment in our communities.”

Deal is also proposing waiving a tax on construction materials bought for important regional building projects.

State Democrats have historically taken a different view of some tax reform proposals.

Rep. Stacey Abrams, the Democratic minority leader, says the idea of waiving the manufacturing energy tax, for example, might work. But first she says she needs more information.

“We agree that exempting that sales tax on energy in manufacturing is a good idea," she said after the event. "The question isn’t: should we do it? It’s: how do we pay for it? So we’re looking forward to seeing the Governor’s proposal and understanding the numbers and making certain in order to help manufacturing, we don’t put a heavier burden on working families.”

The 2012 legislative session began Monday.

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