By Sen. Chip Pearson
ATLANTA (December 15, 2008) – The housing market slump is a multifaceted issue and declines in this industry are affecting jobs, state and local taxes, property values as well as peripheral industries such as banking, local jobs, automotives and retail. Therefore, this week I convened a joint Economic Development Committee meeting at the Capitol to discuss the condition of Georgia’s housing industry.
Georgia is home to some of the largest building and construction companies in the country, including Home Depot, John Wieland Homes, Beazer Homes and Georgia Pacific. When the housing market declines, these companies are drastically affected this then hurts the local job market and family incomes of those employed in these industries. If family incomes decrease, then they aren’t spending as much on items such as clothing, cars, and food. This ripple effect is felt throughout local, state and national economies.
ATLANTA (December 11, 2008) – The Senate Local Sales Tax Collection Study Committee met with several city and county officials today at the Capitol to discuss outsourcing sales tax collections. Collecting local tax income in a more efficient manner could have a potentially enormous impact on local and state-wide revenue. State Sen. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) chairs the committee and supports the idea of local governments having the ability to choose their preferred method of tax collection and plans for legislation to be introduced next January based on committee findings.
“These meetings have given the committee a clear picture that the current tax collection system has serious flaws,” said Sen. Rogers. “The potential solution – giving city and county officials the option to choose the most effective way to collect sales taxes for themselves- will make for increased competition between the public and private sector for collection services and ultimately provide the accountability and efficiency that citizens and local businesses deserve for their tax dollars.”
ATLANTA – (December 10, 2008) Co-chairmen State Sen. Chip Pearson (R-Dawsonville) and Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) held a Joint Economic Development Committee meeting at the Capitol today to discuss the condition of Georgia’s housing industry. Committee members were joined by experts in the economic, building, and real estate industries to focus on how the market is affecting local industries and what can be done at the state level to ease the downturn.
ATLANTA (December 5, 2008) – State Sen. Jeff Chapman (R-Brunswick) has secured $500,000 in equity grant funds for sewer infrastructure improvements to support the expansion of the D. Ray James State Prison in Charlton County. The project will create at least 51 new jobs and generate $34.5 million in private investment.
“I am pleased the expansion of the D. Ray James State Prison will create new job opportunities for county residents since Georgia’s unemployment rate recently hit a 16-year high of 7 percent,” said Sen. Chapman. “I want to thank OneGeorgia Authority for providing our county with this much needed funding, which will help continue making Charlton County a place where people are proud to work and live.”
ATLANTA (December 5, 2008) – Co-chairmen Senator Tim Golden and Representative Allen Peake (R-Macon) conducted the final meeting of the Joint Legislative Panel on the Future of Manufacturing in Georgia Thursday, December 4. Kennesaw State University Coles College of Business hosted the meeting which included presentations by technical college educators, manufacturing economists and analysts, and professional representatives of the industry. Presenters addressed the current state of Georgia’s manufacturing industry from business growth and economic perspectives.