Georgia is now officially the number one place to do business, according to Site Selection magazine. Gov. Nathan Deal announced the ranking at the state Capitol Monday, touting it as one more fulfilled campaign promise. But critics call the designation ‘meaningless,’ saying it doesn’t give an accurate description of Georgia’s economic health.
Richard Kopelman, Chairman of the Next Generation Manufacturing Conference, believes there are two main challenges for Georgia’s manufacturing companies: finding qualified workers and using government incentives effectively. “Eight-two percent of manufacturers aren’t taking advantage of the tax credits and incentives available to them,” explained Kopelman, who is also a CPA and managing partner at accounting firm Habif, Arogti and Wynne.
Tax reform is likely to be back on the table when state legislators reconvene in January. Gov. Nathan Deal says he’s asked lawmakers to submit ideas about improving Georgia’s tax policy with an eye toward making the state even more attractive to businesses.
Just like the film industry, companies in the gaming industry can receive tax credits of up to 30 percent for their production expenses in Georgia. But, some in the industry worry the growth created by these incentives will soon come to an end. Lawmakers passed a $25 million cap on the tax credits that went into effect this year.
Owners of ranch-style homes in Georgia may be residing in a piece of history. Ranch homes became eligible for the National Register of Historic Places in 2010, and about 2,000 communities and individual ranch homes across Georgia are currently listed. The designation means tax incentives, consideration by state or federally funded projects as to how a project could impact the property and homeowner pride.
Governor Nathan Deal still is reviewing a bill to boost tax incentives to spur some tourism projects. The tax breaks could help a proposed convention hotel in Savannah. Some hotel owners have tried to block the hotel because it could be financed with 50-million-dollars in county bonds. The opponents says, that's unfair to privately-backed hotels.