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11 February 2015

College Park Asks Voters to Approve Tax Break Officials Say Will Spur Economic Development

Next month, voters in the south metro City of College Park will vote on approving a tax break local officials say could bring more economic development to the municipality.

In a citywide special election scheduled for 17 March 2015, three questions will appear on the ballot.

  • Shall the City of College Park be authorized to enact a Freeport Exemption to exempt goods in the process of manufacture or production from taxation?
  • Shall the City of College Park be authorized to enact a Freeport Exemption to exempt inventory of finished manufactured or produced goods still held in the original possession of the original manufacturer or producer from taxation?
  • Shall the City of College Park be authorized to enact a Freeport Exemption to exempt finished manufactured goods destined for distribution out of state from taxation?
If approved by College Park voters, the City Council would have permission to grant inventory tax exemptions for goods in process and finished goods that are destined for shipment out of the State of Georgia.

The City of Doraville, which held a similar referendum in November 2014, summarized how Freeport Exemption can help local governments lure and keep businesses within their borders.

The exemption encourages manufacturing and other base industries to locate, invest, and/or stay in Georgia. After a voter-approved referendum, a County or City governing body may elect, by resolution or ordinance, to exempt the taxable value of select inventory in 20 percent increments (20, 40, 60, 80, or 100 percent).

The Georgia Department of Economic Development says, "Almost all (89 percent) of Georgia’s counties and over 140 of the cities have adopted a Level One Freeport Exemption."