Councilmen approved an increase in Freeport tax exemptions that positively affect the bottom lines of local manufacturers and other businesses that hold large inventories, The Daily Tribune News reports. The vote followed Cartersville Schools' resolution in support, approved by the school board in its March meeting.
The measure means reduced property taxes for local manufacturers and other businesses holding inventories of goods that were produced in Georgia. As an incentive to new and expanding industry, Cartersville has exempted from taxation 20 percent of those goods since 2004.
Beginning Jan. 1, the tax break will cover 40 percent of the raw materials, partially finished and finished goods.
"This is one of the single most important things we can do in our economic development strategy to bring quality jobs to this community. I am really happy that we are taking this step and I am even more happy that the school board is taking this step with us," Mayor Matt Santini said, according to the newspaper.
Bartow County’s unemployment rate rose to 9.9 percent in January but was down almost 2 percentage points from a year earlier.
Santini has said creating jobs is the biggest challenge for the city, which is looking to continue increasing its Freeport exemption by 20 percent a year until it reaches 100 percent.
Bartow County exempts from property taxes 80 percent of qualified inventories.
While the amount of property tax revenue the school system will lose is unclear, it's facing a $2 million budget shortfall for 2012-2013.