I have watched with great interest as local and state governments have become very aggressive in providing tax incentives for businesses that are willing to relocate into or extend a commitment to stay in their communities. If you read closely enough in any of the recent press releases about a business relocation you will find some indication that the local government was willing to sacrifice some short term tax revenue for the long term growth it could provide.
If you are unfamiliar with the phenomenom I suggest you read this article about the incentives which enticed Porsche to move their North American Headquarters from Sandy Springs to the old Ford plant site near Hartsfield airport. You can also read here on the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce site how Sandy Springs is aggressively pursuing policies that will attract businesses:
Last night, the Sandy Springs City Council voted to establish reductions in the occupation tax to benefit businesses located in the City. The reductions include a blanket out-of-state sales exemption and a blanket franchise fee exemption for franchisees, which are located out-of-state. In addition, the Council further reduced the cap on maximum occupation tax paid in any one tax year from $400,000 to $75,000.
As a real estate agent I know it is always better to compete on features if you can. But I also realize that in the end it often comes down to price. And in today’s economy price is more important than ever before.
Back in December of 2010 I wrote a blogpost titled “Kudos to the City of Alpharetta for reducing fees as an incentive for new businesses!” which praised the city for taking a small step toward this innovative approach. You can read the whole thing here.
As a City Councilman I would like to see Alpharetta pursue these avenues more aggressively. I know that my opponent in this campaign will try to portray me as “anti-growth’ but that is patently absurd.
I am not anti-growth. I just support growth we can live with.