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Gov. Deal details plan to lure jobs to Georgia

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Nathan Deal says his goal is to make Georgia the No. 1 state to do business and unveiled a plan focused on infrastructure improvements, tax reform and education.

At the annual Eggs and Issues breakfast, Deal also underscored the need to pass the regional transportation tax this summer, to expand the Savannah harbor and bolster the state's water supply system.

The event, sponsored by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, will also feature remarks from Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston. Deal, marking his second year in office, discussed details of his "competitiveness initiative," which includes overhauling the state's tax code and regulations, investing in infrastructure projects and highlighting Georgia's research institutions.

Deal announced the competitiveness initiative last year, focused on business climate, education and workforce development, innovation, infrastructure, global commerce and government efficiency and effectiveness. A task force of business leaders and elected officials and more than 4,000 Georgians weighed in at regional meetings held over several months.

Among their proposals:

Eliminating the sales tax on energy used in manufacturing;

Creating sales and use tax exemptions for construction materials used in projects of regional significance, to help local governments attract projects to their communities;

Updating the job tax credits to help rural areas of the state and lowering the requirement for businesses seeking credits from 50 to 15 jobs created.

Deal also urged the crowd to support the regional transportation tax referenda that is scheduled for the July ballot. He said the infrastructure projects that would be funded by the taxpayers are "imperative" to the state's economy.

"If the slate of projects in your region provides value, I want to ask you to vote and help get the word out to your friends and family," Deal said.

The Savannah harbor expansion was also touted as a priority. Deal said the proposed budget for fiscal year 2013 includes $46.7 million in bonds to continue deepening the harbor to handle bigger cargo ships that will start coming through an expanded Panama Canal after 2014. He said the state will continue to pursue federal funds to support the project.

Deal also announced the Water Supply Program, a low-interest loan program aimed at studies and projects that expand local water supplies especially the creation of reservoirs to address the state's long-term needs for a growing population. Deal's 2013 budget proposes $45.7 million for water supply projects as the second installment over a four-year period.

He declined to elaborate on education, saving his plans for his State of the State speech, scheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Comments

jjbod1 2 years, 3 months ago

Well Mr Deal, until we do something about that debacle called the "Hotlanes" here in Gwinnett, I can pretty much guarantee you will not be getting many, including myself to vote yes on the transportation tax. I was all for it "regional transportation tax referenda" but i will not stand for the tolls we now have, or any more that may come into play into the future. So for the time being, the state can use the toll money they are stealing from those who use the lanes to build your new roads.

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kevin 2 years, 3 months ago

I hope Deal and Ralston don't use expanding gambling as a way to balance the budget and grow the economy. That is the furthest from the truth. Money spent on gambling doesn't grow any economy but the owners of those gambling companies.- They are all crooks dressed in Brooks Bros. suits. Besides, just yesterday Deal stated that revenues have been rising the past year.

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CD 2 years, 3 months ago

I wonder why the LZW expansion was not mentioned. After all, the 76453297856392748562347 jobs created should be the bellweather project for the state as well as the nation as a whole. It will make even China green with envy.

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SuxBeanU 2 years, 3 months ago

Didn't this guy tell us in 2010 that, unlike his opponent, he had a plan to bring jobs to Georgia, and that would be his first priority, if elected? Well, it's 2012 and he is just now rolling out a plan to bring jobs to Georgia. Typical politician, has the laser like focus and attention span of a cat. Unfortunately, he is only concerned about one job, and that one is not yours.

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Mack711 2 years, 3 months ago

He also told us during the campaign that the Toll Booths on 400 would be closed from now on. Well they are still there with more to come. You must ask yourself what business would move to Gwinnett if they have toll roads for the employees to use to get to work. Maybe he plans on issuing free Peach Passes to any company that moves here.

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HonestIngine 2 years, 3 months ago

We can't vote Deal out of office fast enough. What a joke for a governor.

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suedehead 2 years, 3 months ago

You mean Deal hasn't kept any of his campaign promises? A man force to resign from his last elected office because of ethics issues? Amazing.

Six days after the article was posted and the Gov has no one defending his "leadership."

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