The Georgia House and Senate Joint Tax Credit Review Committee met at the Coastal Georgia Center in Savannah last week to continue their efforts to review Georgia’s various tax credit programs. At this event, Savannah Area Chamber President and CEO Bert Brantley moderated a panel discussion of business leaders focused on economic development programs.
The Committee heard from several local business leaders who explained how existing tax credit programs have allowed job growth and investment in our region. As part of that discussion, Mark Bennett, Operations Manager at Gulfstream, explained how the Research & Development tax credit helped Gulfstream grow the number of engineers they employ, which allowed them to increase their ability to develop state-of-the-art aircraft. Chris Smith, Chief Project Implementation Officer with the Hyundai Metaplant, spoke to the importance of the credits Hyundai will qualify for as part of the incentive package that led to the company choosing the Bryan County megasite to be the home of their new $5.5 billion e-vehicle production facility. Ulrich Schmidt, with KPMG LLP Global Location & Expansion Services, explained, as a site selector, how these incentives are part of a broader package that states use to attract new businesses and keep Georgia competitive with neighboring states. He also explained how certain tax credits are used to help retain and expand existing Georgia companies.
The night before the committee meeting, a reception and dinner was held at Garibaldi’s for those traveling into Savannah for the meeting. The reception and dinner were sponsored by The Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Matters, The Georgia Ports Authority, Georgia Power, Georgia’s Rural Telephone and Broadband Association, Gulfstream, Jason Broce, Pope Consulting (on behalf of Tyler Perry Studios), The Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, The Savannah Area Economic Development Authority, The Savannah Hilton Head International Airport, Thompson Victory Group, & The Tourism Leadership Council.
The Georgia House and Senate Joint Tax Credit Review Committee will continue to meet through the end of the year with future meetings focusing on other programs, such as the film and low income housing tax crediis. The panel is co-chaired by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Hufstetler and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Shaw Blackmon. Senate members of the committee are Sens. John Albers , Greg Dolezal, Bill Cowsert, and Michael “Doc” Rhett. House members of the committee are Reps. Debbie Buckner, Kasey Carpenter, Chuck Martin and Bruce Williamson. House Appropriations Chairman Matt Hatchett serves as an ex-officio member.