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Authority advises against tax abatement

Company considering possible expansion

POSTED: December 24, 2013 5:00 p.m.

The authority charged with boosting economic development in Dawson County has determined the timing may not be right for possible tax incentives to help a local manufacturer expand.

"The various staff level analyses were provided and the decision was that a tax abatement would not be advisable in this case," said Charlie Auvermann, executive director of the Development Authority of Dawson County.

According to a news release Friday from the authority, Impulse Manufacturing sought a tax abatement in early December to help a fund an expansion at its existing facility near Ga. 400.

But Karl Baysden, director of sales and marketing for the firm, disputed that contention.

"Impulse Manufacturing has never formally requested or discussed a full property tax abatement from anyone in Dawson County," he said.

Baysden went on to note that any formal request by Impulse for tax incentives or abatement would be taken to the county commission.

According to Baysden, his intent in opening talks with the authority was to learn of any potential tax incentives.

The company plans to either enlarge the existing plant or set up a new operation in Athens or Charlotte, N.C. The $7.5 million proposal calls for an additional 50,000 square feet of space to house a new paint line and more than $5 million in equipment.

Baysden said he was looking into possible tax breaks on the equipment, which would not function at full capacity or produce profits for the first couple years.

In 2007, the authority created a general incentives policy in conjunction with the county.

The policy, Auvermann said, was reviewed in making the recommendation against tax incentives for Impulse. The matter of tax abatement was handled in a routine manner with full cooperation from each of the entities involved.

"The board of commissioners and the school board were completely advised of the matter and the progress of the group," he said. "They were aware of the question, the issues, the process and the final decision."

Auvermann said the school board and county commission were not required to hold formal votes on the matter, which was reviewed by representatives from each entity, as well as the county tax assessor's office with various legal and support members of the two administrations.

"All of the information generated by each of the parties was fully reviewed by the entire group. All determinations made were done by the group and the final decision resulted from a complete group consensus," he said.

The authority worked with a Georgia Tech group to analyse and review the project, as well as with state representatives to identify incentives being offered to manufacturers across Georgia.

"Manufacturing has been identified by the state of Georgia, by Dawson County and by the development authority as one of our critical economic development industries," Auvermann said.

In addition to state incentives, the county provides manufacturing with freeport exemptions on inventory and recently elected to discontinue the local energy excise taxes on local industries.

"The county is very proud to have Impulse Manufacturing here, and we certainly desire to see them not only remain here but expand here," Auvermann said. "We believe Dawson County has a lot to offer Impulse today.

"Impulse and our other fine manufacturing firms are at the core of our local economy and they continue to be one of the key engines driving our recovery from the recent recession."

 

 

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