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Georgia has stayed poised for recover
The people's business
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During times of economic downturn and declining revenues, you will hear a variety of suggestions on how to turn around the economy. Some of these suggestions can incentivize investment and growth, while others will discourage and overburden struggling businesses and families.
There is no question the collapse of the housing market has had a major impact in Georgia. One would be hard pressed to find a family or business in Georgia that has not felt the effects. I have felt these effects in my own business.
There is good news, though. Georgia is positioned for recovery because we have kept our taxes low and we have not overburdened businesses with excessive regulations. The key to a successful free market economy is freedom and lower taxes, and that is exactly what we have done here.
As Sir Winston Churchill once said, “For a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket trying to lift himself up by the handle.” Georgia has done a good job in positioning itself for recovery and other states and businesses are noticing.
Georgia has one of the lowest corporate income tax rates, ranking 42nd in the nation according to Georgia State University’s Fiscal Research Center. By maintaining these low taxes, Georgia is attracting companies, growing jobs and turning around our economy. During the next five years, our state should see growth of more than 22,000 jobs and investments more than $560 million from companies relocating to Georgia. For example:
• Mitsubishi Power Systems (Savannah): 500 jobs and $325 million
• Belgian flooring manufacturer IVC Group (Dalton): 115 jobs and $70 million. This will be the company’s first U.S. plant.
• Cancer Treatment Centers of America (Newnan) hospital: 500 jobs and $150 million
• Chicken of the Sea International cannery (Lyons): 200 jobs and $20 million.
• Fortune 500 processing firm First Data Corp. plans to relocate its headquarters to Atlanta: 1,000 employees over the next three years.
The new Kia plant in West Point will be rolling off the first car produced in the U.S. on Nov. 16. Kia built its first U.S. manufacturing plant at a cost of $1 billion and brought 1,200 much-needed jobs to the region and state. In addition, auto parts suppliers added approximately 3,000 jobs. Georgia Tech estimates that this plant will bring nearly 20,000 new jobs by 2012.
The Shaw Group will be expanding plant Vogtle in Waynesboro. This project will bring an estimated 3,500 jobs to the area and about 800 permanent jobs after the project is completed.
Businesses are not the only ones who have noticed Georgia is a business and job friendly state. In its annual grading of state business climates, CNBC ranked Georgia’s workforce the best in the nation. In addition to workforce, Georgia earned high scores in the cost of living and business friendly categories. Georgia’s overall ranking in the “2009 Cost of Doing Business” survey was 10th in the nation.
Stimulus dollars and government bailouts are not bringing companies and jobs to Georgia. Growing the private sector and getting Georgians back to work is the only formula for economic success. We must keep taxes, the cost of doing business, and regulatory burdens low. There is no denying that there are still difficult decisions and days that lie ahead. That being said, Georgia has one of the best workforces in the country and possesses the ingenuity and creativity to prosper and flourish. We must get Georgia working again by continuing to make Georgia a business and job friendly state.

Williams is president pro tempore of the Georgia Senate. He represents the 19th Senate District. He can be reached at (404) 656-0089 or by e-mail at
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