Valdosta Daily Times

State News

January 1, 2013

Amusement park hopes for tax break under new law

ROSSVILLE, Ga. — A northwest Georgia amusement park hopes to open a new water park with a tax break under a new Georgia law.

The Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park hopes to break ground in January on the new five-acre water park just south of the Tennessee-Georgia line, The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported (http://bit.ly/TYpvBT ).

Park officials also hope to know by then whether they’ll get a $198,050 tax break on the water park’s equipment under Senate Bill 386, a new Georgia law that exempts projects of “regional significance” from state and local use taxes.

There’s a chance that the water park could be the first project to get the tax break, said state Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga.

“The project is the type of project they’re looking for, because it is a great regional impact,” Mullis said.

The next step is the approval from state officials -- but many are off for holiday vacation.

“We don’t know where it stands,” said Tommy Dickinson, a member of the family that owns the 88-year-old amusement park.

Brian Williamson is deputy commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, which will have a hand in deciding whether Lake Winnie gets the tax break.

“It’s an eligible project, and we look forward to reviewing the application,” Williamson said.

The park, also known as Lake Winnie, is just south of Chattanooga, Tenn.

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