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Governor Perdue Signs Small Business Tax Relief Plan

Tuesday, April 12, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Following a tour of Austin Urethane in Americus, Georgia, Governor Sonny Perdue signed into law his Entrepreneur and Small Business Growth Initiative (HB282). HB282 provides tax relief to small businesses seeking to invest, grow and create jobs for Georgians.

“Growing small businesses across our state means growing communities and a growing Georgia. With this small business tax relief plan, we are taking an important step to help our state’s small businesses thrive and create jobs for the people of Georgia,” said Governor Sonny Perdue.

HB 282, carried in the legislature by Representative Jay Roberts, one of Governor Perdue’s Floor Leaders, makes small businesses eligible for accelerated tax deductions for capital investments ranging from $102,000 to $410,000. The legislation also provides administrative relief by making tax filing easier for small businesses.

Under this legislation, small businesses throughout the state will see more than $25 million in tax savings in the first three years. The changes to the state’s tax law will also bring Georgia in line with federal tax law, improving the state’s overall business climate.

“NFIB's 13,000 members across Georgia applaud Governor Perdue and Representative Jay Roberts for their leadership in securing a meaningful tax relief package for small businesses,” said Melody Harrison, Georgia State Director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). “Small businesses greatly appreciate these incentives to invest more into their businesses and to add jobs in their communities.”

Small businesses comprise more than 95 percent of all businesses in Georgia, employing half of Georgia’s workforce and generating more than half of the state’s revenue. Austin Urethane is a family owned, small business that was founded by Harold Austin and his two sons, Greg and Steve, in 1977. The company employs 62 people in a 125,000 square foot building. Austin Urethane manufactures and fabricates flexible polyurethane foam used in bedding furniture, packaging, marine industry, fruit gift boxes, sponge products and specialty foam products. Austin Urethane does approximately $12 million in business a year.

HB282 will also give every Georgian the opportunity to contribute to the Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation on their income tax return starting next year. This non-profit organization provides humanitarian support to members of the Georgia Department of Defense and their families.

The bill becomes effective immediately and is applicable to all taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2005.

Governor Perdue will also sign three pieces of rural economic legislation into law at the Rural Development Council meeting in Moultrie, Georgia this afternoon – SB144, HB203, HB487.

SB144 creates the Georgia Rural Development Council, formerly the State Advisory Committee on Rural Development, to advise the Governor on matters related to rural development. HB203 allows for a referendum that would expand the ad valorem tax exemption for agricultural products and equipment to include farm equipment held under a lease purchase agreement. HB487 exempts the sales tax on electricity or other fuel for the operation of an irrigation system which is used on a farm exclusively for crop irrigation.