Wed., November 28, 2012 5:00pm (EST)

Savannah Eggs and Issues Agenda
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 2 years ago

SAVANNAH, Ga.  —  
Every year, the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce lists securing funds for port expansion as its Number One priority for the lawmaking session that begins in January. (photo Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce)
Every year, the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce lists securing funds for port expansion as its Number One priority for the lawmaking session that begins in January. (photo Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce)
Savannah business leaders Wednesday laid out their top priorities for the state legislative session to begin in January.

Securing harbor deepening funds again topped the list.

But other topics mentioned at the Savannah Chamber of Commerce's Eggs and Issues breakfast also would require state dollars.

Tybee Island State Representative Ben Watson wants more sand on Tybee beach.

"Tybee beach re-nourishment not only affects the tourism in the Savannah beaches or on Tybee Island," Watson says. "But it also affects the City of Savannah, our region here and the whole state of Georgia."

State lawmakers told several hundred business leaders that finding funds for the coast will be difficult when all state agencies are being asked to take a 3% reduction.

A chamber spokeswoman said the group also would be watching for President Obama's budget expected in February.

Chamber Chairman Bill Shira said he'd like lawmakers to extend a tax break benefiting jet-maker Gulfstream.

"What this tax exemption does is allow Gulfstream to be more competetive," Shira says. "What this legislative agenda is meant to do is to extend these benefits for Gulfstream into the future so that we can remain competitive."

Georgia officials are hoping for a big chunk of harbor deepening funding in the upcoming federal spending plan.