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Chamber Presents State Legislative Agenda in Atlanta
by Chamber News on March 4th, 2013

ATLANTA—The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber Government Affairs Council (GAC) met with state elected officials Wednesday at the Georgia Capitol to discuss current legislation that could potentially impact the business community in Valdosta-Lowndes County. AT&T sponsored the annual luncheon which was attended by Reps. Ellis Black, Amy Carter and Dexter Sharper and approximately 50 top business leaders from Lowndes County.
 
GAC Chair Ron Borders presented the council’s top legislative issues which included HB 285 which directly addresses the critical need for the state to have increased access to venture capital and seed funding to attract and retain growing businesses in Georgia with a public-private mechanism that would provide early- to growth-stage venture capital funding. “Valdosta has the potential to grow knowledge-based businesses which employ university and college graduates, but we need to keep them here,” stated Borders. “This legislation would provide incentives that could help with this initiative.”
 
The Georgia Renaissance Investment Tax Credit Act was another piece of legislation the council supports which will provide tax incentives for private sector investments in downtown districts. According to the Georgia Municipal Association, a small building sitting empty for one year in a small-town commercial district will have a negative economic impact of $386,750. The cost of an empty storefront far outweighs the 10-25 percent tax credit for qualified commercial, retail, and mixed use projects in state-approved Renaissance Districts.
 
The Council also addressed the Mobile Broadband Infrastructure Leads to Development (BILD) Act; the council asked that the delegation consider changes to the wording of the legislation which appears ambiguous in its potential interpretation. “While we certainly support access to broadband, we want to ensure the legislation won’t preempt local government review and approval, especially in an area like Lowndes County which has special zoning in place to protect our military base,” stated Borders.
 
Rep. Carter concluded the meeting by presenting the Chamber with House Resolution 155, sponsored by Carter, Black, Shaw and Sharper. The resolution recognized and commended the Chamber for more than 100 years of service to the business community of Valdosta Lowndes County, highlighting the Chamber’s 5-Star Accreditation from the U.S. Chamber and exemplary business practices. Senator Tim Golden sponsored a similar resolution in the Senate.
 
For more information on the Chamber’s GAC, visit ValdostaBusinessVoice.com.


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