House Bill 696 modernizes the state’s existing tax statute to permit state sales and use tax exemptions for high-technology data centers. House Bill 696, sponsored by Representative Trey Kelley of Cedartown and Senate Majority Whip, Steve Gooch of Dahlonega incentivizes large investments by data centers.

How does House Bill 696 impact Georgia’s economy?

The three-tiered investment measure seeks to increase economic opportunities in Georgia’s rural communities by encouraging data industry expansion beyond metro Atlanta. The minimum investment threshold to qualify for this exemption is contingent on the population of the county in which the data center is located. Additionally, the legislation requires the creation of 20 high-quality jobs and is predicted to invest a minimum of $100 million within the first 7 years of enactment.

How does House Bill 696 benefit the business community?

As a critical component of Georgia’s growing economy, Information Technology increases productivity and security for businesses across various industry sectors. By amending Georgia Code 48, House Bill 696 authorizes tax incentives for data center industries that will allow for the creation of economic development opportunities such as infrastructure, job creation, and rural development throughout the state.

Georgia Chamber Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, David Raynor commended the leadership of Governor Deal, the bill sponsors, and its supporters, “As the unified voice of the business community, it is a long-standing Chamber priority to support changes to tax policy that encourage the location and expansion of businesses in Georgia. As we seek to invest in our state’s long-term economic success, it is essential that we provide Georgia communities with opportunities to acquire growth and economic prosperity. We congratulate Governor Deal. Representative Trey Kelley, Senator Steve Gooch, and members of the general assembly on passing this measure and look forward to working with them in our continued efforts to improve Georgia’s competitive advantage in attracting and retaining businesses of all sizes.”

House Bill 696 will go into effect January 1, 2019. To learn more about the Chamber’s continued efforts to keep Georgia the #1 state in which to do business, visit the Georgia Chamber website and view the Chamber’s  2018 Legislative Priorities and  Scorecard Legislation.

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