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Lawmakers boost economic development, job creation
burns jon 2015
Rep. Jon Burns

As your state representative, and as Majority Leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, it has been my goal to pass common-sense legislation that improves the economic well-being and quality of life for those in my community and around the state.

In recent years, we secured funding for the deepening of the Savannah Port, which is a significant economic driver for Southeast Georgia and the state as a whole. We passed tax incentives for the entertainment production industry that included reporting metrics to ensure taxpayers receive a positive return on their investment. In 2015 alone, film and television productions in Georgia generated a statewide economic impact of $6 billion.

And last year, we passed a landmark transportation reform measure that will make our roads and bridges safer and provide the necessary infrastructure for our state’s continued economic growth. These measures have created jobs, reduced unemployment and helped Georgia recover from the Great Recession.

Continuing this trend, I worked hard during the 2016 legislative session to promote economic development at home and throughout the state. At the local level, our efforts have helped secure state funding for infrastructure improvements, new job creation and support of existing industry. For example, the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority was recently awarded $400,000 in Equity Grant Funding from the OneGeorgia Authority to provide water infrastructure to Savannah Cold Storage/PortFresh Logistics. This project will create 40 new jobs when it opens in September, which will increase to more than 75 new full-time jobs by its fourth year of operation. In addition, we are actively working with industrial development authorities in Bulloch and Screven counties to support existing industry and recruit new job opportunities to those counties.

In addition, the General Assembly passed legislation this year designed to promote job creation throughout the state. For instance, House Bill 936 clarifies that, to qualify for a job creation tax credit in less developed areas of our state, the average wage for each new job created must exceed a minimum threshold amount. Previously, the measure used for determining eligibility was the average of all new jobs created by a business enterprise. Therefore, this bill was designed to ensure new job tax credits only go to those businesses that create higher paying jobs.

In addition, the state appropriations act for fiscal year 2017 included $10 million for InvestGeorgia, which is a venture capital fund that provides additional access to capital for companies located in Georgia. In turn, this will stimulate the state’s economy by helping retain high-growth companies in the state. In addition to this funding, the state budget also included $300,000 in grants for smaller film projects, which is designed to help small production companies located in Georgia grow and create jobs.

As demonstrated by my support of these measures, I am firmly committed to developing good jobs in my district and to ensuring Georgia remains one of the best states for business. If you have any questions about my efforts to help create good jobs in our district, or if you want more information about the state’s economic development initiatives, please do not hesitate to call (404.656.5052), email ( or engage me on Facebook.