July Ushers in Georgia Income Tax Cut, New Business Incentives

Person writing on paper with pen

New laws that will cut income taxes for Georgians and increase tax incentives for businesses go into effect Thursday with the start of a new fiscal year.

Dubbed the Tax Relief Act of 2021, House Bill 593, raises the standard deduction on state income tax returns for a single taxpayer by $800 to $5,400 and by $1,100 to $7,100 for a married couple filing a joint return, starting in the 2022 tax year.

HB 593 created the second tax cut of its kind in three years. It will cut income taxes by more than $600 million collectively over the next five years. The Georgia Legislature doubled the state’s standard deduction under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in Georgia in 2018.

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Economic Development Roundup: Green Hydrogen Fuel Production Plant Slated for Georgia

hydrogen fuel plant

Hydrogen solutions provider Plug Power will invest $84 million to open a green hydrogen fuel production plant in Kingsland, Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp’s office said.

The investment is expected to create 24 jobs in Camden County. Plug Power’s GenKey solution combines critical elements to power and fuel and provides services to Amazon, BMW, Southern Company, The Home Depot, Group Carrefour and Walmart.

“With this hydrogen production plant, we are expanding our green hydrogen network to provide zero-emissions fuel to customers in Georgia and across the Southeast,” Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh said. “Investing in Camden County is the right choice to support Plug Power’s continued growth.”

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Migration Study Shows Big Cities Continue Losing Population During First Quarter

U-Haul truck

Americans in the first quarter of 2021 continued their 2020 pattern of moving from expensive, densely populated areas to warmer, more tax-affordable states, according to a new study from Updater Technologies.

Updater Technologies is an online platform that allows people to use a centralized hub for moving, including finding a moving company, connecting internet and utility services and updating their address. The company says the inbound and outbound data it uses is more reliable than tabulating mail forwarding forms because it captures fully completed permanent moves in real time. It also indexes cities and states based on population, since using raw numbers would skew toward the most populated areas based on sheer volume.

Out of roughly 300,000 household moves during the first quarter, only 16 states had a greater percentage of inbound moves than outbound: Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arizona, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Colorado, Georgia and Maine.

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Kemp Extends Suspension of Georgia Gas Tax by a Week

"Sorry out of service" bag covering gas pump

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp extended the state’s temporary suspension of the fuel tax through May 22 as Colonial Pipeline works to become fully operational after a cyberattack.

Kemp issued an executive order Monday that suspended the gas tax, increased weight limits for trucks transporting fuel and prohibited price gouging. The order was set to expire Saturday before Kemp extended it Friday.

“While Colonial Pipeline is now operational, the company has informed the public that it will be a few days until full service is available statewide,” Kemp said in a statement. “This executive order will ensure fuel supply chains have every resource needed to deliver gas quickly and safely, and that Georgians aren’t hit with state gas taxes at the pump during this shortage. I continue to ask Georgians to only purchase the fuel they need for essential travel through the upcoming weekend.”

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BLM Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors Has Funneled Business to Company Run by Father of Her Only Child, Records Show

BLM Co founder Patrisse Cullors

Patrisse Cullors, the co-founder and executive director of Black Lives Matter’s national arm, has funneled business to a company led by a man she identified as the father of her only child, a Daily Caller News Foundation review of business records, interviews and social media posts found.

The company, Trap Heals, was formed just days before partnering with Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation and later became the charity’s “lead developer of the art & cultural efforts,” according to business records, interviews and an archived version of Trap Heals’ website. Two other activist groups Cullors led paid Trap Heals a collective $238,000 to produce an election night livestream and for consulting services, campaign finance records show.

In numerous public mentions of their work, Cullors and Turner did not disclose that they had a child together. But in at least one instance, Turner said Cullors was directly involved in Trap Heals’ partnership with BLM Global Network.

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More Rural Georgia Counties to Get Internet Upgrade under Private-Sector Deal

Workers installing broadband internet

More rural Georgians are expected to gain access to high-speed internet under a private-sector partnership announced this week by Conexon Connect.

Conexon Connect is collaborating with Middle Georgia EMC to provide broadband access to nearly 5,000 homes and businesses in Dooly, Houston, Macon, Pulaski, Turner, Wilcox and Ben Hill counties.

“Our members have waited long enough for high-speed access to make telemedicine, remote learning, working from home and videoconferencing with loved ones a reality on a daily basis,” Middle Georgia EMC President and CEO Randy Crenshaw said. “Connect is making it possible for our cooperative to deliver this vital service at last. We are ready to show them all the opportunities that open up in a more connected community.”

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