Valdosta Daily Times

State News

September 10, 2013

Deal touts Ga.’s energy efforts, links to jobs

ATLANTA — Gov. Nathan Deal touted the state’s efforts to lure manufacturing firms with its energy policy on Monday, saying a recent energy sales tax exemption has brought jobs to Georgia and that a stable supply in the state could bring more.

“All of us understand that Georgia has a great opportunity to restore itself as a manufacturing center in the United States,” Deal said at a meeting of state and business leaders involved in an initiative to develop economic development strategies and make recommendations to the General Assembly.

Last year, state lawmakers approved a plan that eliminated the energy sales tax on manufacturing plants. At the time, only 14 states added the sales tax onto the utility bills of manufacturing plants. Deal said removing that burden has had a direct hand in companies deciding to move to Georgia or expanding operations in the state.

“We have to take advantage of continuing to be a state that offers affordable energy that will allow us to be competitive in the marketplace by way of costs, because in manufacturing that is a huge component of overall expenditures,” Deal said.

The Republican governor said Georgia has opportunities to draw firms from Japan and Germany, where there is some uncertainty about energy supply. Germany has decided to move away from nuclear power, and Deal said he believes that’s a reason why some German companies are looking to move to Georgia.

In Japan, Deal said the country is still dealing with the fallout from the March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

“This is a nation that if they do not have the nuclear power, they become a nation that has to import their energy,” Deal said. “The opportunities that present themselves to a state like Georgia, if we do what we can to keep our energy costs reasonable and low by comparison ... we are in a prime position to continue to attract some of the manufacturing efforts that may have been traditionally in Japan.”

Alan Essig of the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute said in a statement that Georgia should set up a better process for reviewing tax breaks and criticized the governor’s Georgia Competitiveness Initiative, which brings state economic development officials and business leaders together to review state tax breaks and make recommendations.  

“It is certainly true that Georgia’s Swiss cheese tax code should be given a thorough review,” Essig said. “State taxpayers spend nearly $300 million each year on tax credits for economic development, with almost no knowledge of what they’re getting in return. But handing over authority to an unelected business council is the wrong way to fix that problem.”

During his speech, Deal mentioned the two nuclear reactors under construction at the Plant Vogtle site in east Georgia, and said he planned to tour the facility later Monday. The costs, however, associated with the nuclear expansion in Georgia have prompted debate over who will pay for cost overruns.

Earlier, Deal had said it would be a “good solution” if Southern Co. could absorb more of the costs. On Monday, he said those comments were taken “a little bit beyond what I said,” saying he only believes it’s a viable issue to discuss. He praised Georgia Power executives for working with the state Public Service Commission.

“The truth of the matter is that nuclear facilities are very expensive. And the truth of the matter is that they provide very long-term benefits; they’re spread over many, many decades,” Deal said. “You have to take that all into account.”

1
Text Only
State News
  • Ga. woman sentenced in child abuse case

    The mother of a 1-year-old boy who was hospitalized with a fractured skull in 2012 has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

    July 29, 2014

  • Kingston’s loss means less clout for Ga.

    For two decades, Rep. Jack Kingston was a congressman who routinely crushed his opponents on election night — winning a new term every other year with vote totals between 63 and 77 percent.

    July 28, 2014

  • salmonella 2 copy.jpg Trial nears for suspects in salmonella case

    Three people accused of scheming to manufacture and ship salmonella-tainted peanuts that killed nine people, sickened more than 700 and prompted one of the largest food recalls in history are set to go to trial this week in south Georgia.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 2 injured in western Georgia small plane crash

    Fire officials say two people were hospitalized after small plane crash in western Georgia. 

     

    July 27, 2014

  • Nuclear Construction_Rich(1) copy.jpg Promises of easier nuclear construction fall short

    The U.S. nuclear industry has started building its first new plants in decades using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and money and revive the once promising energy source.
    So far, it’s not working.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Battle of Atlanta_Rich copy.jpg Civil War battle sites have a mobile app

    This week marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Atlanta, one of the key conflicts of the Civil War, and researchers at Emory University’s Center for Digital Scholarship have released a mobile app for the tour.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingston, Perdue make final pitch in Senate race

    U.S. Senate hopefuls Jack Kingston and David Perdue hit every corner of the state in one final scramble before Georgia Republicans will choose one of them to take on Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn this fall in one of the nation’s most significant midterm election matchups.

    July 22, 2014

  • Senate race zeroes in on metro Atlanta, north Ga.

    Neither Republican running in Georgia’s closely watched Senate race has a natural advantage in metro Atlanta, where the state’s most populous area and a ring of northern exurbs are serving as the key battleground ahead of Tuesday’s runoff.

    July 21, 2014

  • Kingston, Perdue: Teamwork begins after runoff

    Businessman David Perdue and Rep. Jack Kingston have plenty of criticisms for each other as they appeal for votes ahead of Georgia’s Republican Senate primary runoff.

    July 20, 2014

  • Senate-Georgia_Rich copy.jpg Kingston, Perdue offer few details on budget fixes

    Neither Rep. Jack Kingston nor businessman David Perdue has detailed a clear course for changing the nation’s fiscal situation, instead broadly railing against government spending and debt in their campaign for Georgia’s open U.S. Senate seat.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results