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Impulse gets no tax help
HWE3 impulse

One of Dawson Countys largest employers, Impulse Manufacturing, has been denied a request for tax incentives to expand in the area.

Following careful review by representatives from the board of commissioners, the tax assessors office, the school system and the Development Authority of Dawson County (DADC), Impulses request for tax incentives was declined, according to a press release issued Friday by the DADC.

(The representatives) have declined to offer a full property tax abatement to Impulse Manufacturing Inc. of Dawson County, the DADCs statement said.

Karl Baysden, director of marketing and sales at Impulse, said he feels frustrated.

Impulse never requested a full property tax abatement, he said. We didnt make a formal request. We just asked what the county could do to help with the cost of expansion.

Baysden explained that Impulse borrowed money for its expansion, and that it would have to pay property taxes if it expands its Dawson County facility.

We wont be fully using the expanded space for years, but we have to pay taxes as if its at capacity, Baysden said. Its kind of frustrating. We were just looking for some help.

Impulse is also considering locations in Charlotte, N.C. and Athens, Ga. for expansion. The company expects to make a final decision by month-end.

Impulse is a metal-fabricator located near Lumpkin Campground Road and the North Georgia Premium Outlet mall. With 220 employees, it is considered one of the largest employers in the county.

If Impulse decides to expand in Dawson County, it likely would add 75 to 100 new jobs. If it moves, 30 to 40 jobs would be lost, Baysden said.

The county is very proud to have Impulse Manufacturing here, and we certainly desire to see them not only remain here but expand here, Charlie Auvermann, executive director of the DADC, 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.

The decision came after an extensive analysis by not only the DADC but also the tax assessor, along with the various legal and support members of the school system administration and board of commissioners.

Ultimately, any tax-abatement decisions have to be made at the (county) commission and school board level, Auvermann said. The various staff level analyses were provided, and the decision was that a tax abatement would not be advisable in this case.

No formal vote was taken by either organization.

...Such would have required placement into the formal agenda process, Auvermann stated in a second press release. It was the determination by the entities...following from those meetings and discussion that the matter did not need to be placed into the agenda process for either board. The combined position of these entities was to not offer the abatement.

The authority worked directly with a Georgia Tech group in the analysis and review of the project. The authority also worked with state representatives in looking at current incentives being offered to manufacturing across the state.

Manufacturing, Auvermann said, has been identified by the State of Georgia, by Dawson County and by the Development Authority as one of our critical economic development industries. As such, the state offers a number of incentives to all of our manufacturing companies.

He noted that in addition to state incentives, Dawson County provides manufacturing with freeport exemptions on inventory and has recently elected not to continue with the local energy excise taxes on local industries. These are all strong, positive incentives already in place to help our manufacturing concerns, he said.

Auvermann also noted that while some tax incentives generate long-term positive benefits for the county, typically modest projects struggle to meet those thresholds.

The Impulse expansion will be very beneficial for Impulse, and it will provide a level of economic boost in our community, Auvermann said. At the same time, we have to look at it from a services perspective to make sure that boost is enough to allow for such an incentive.

The county, the school system and the development authority will continue to work with Impulse and all other county manufacturing companies on ways to grow their businesses, the press release from the DADC said. A strong commercial and industrial sector is a vital component in the countys balanced tax revenue policies, and the three entities believe the expansion will help Impulse achieve its stated long-range goals in Dawson, according to the release.