Georgia Senate committee to examine oversight of local developmental authorities

(The Center Square) – A Georgia Senate committee is set to explore potential legislative solutions that could give the state more oversight of local development authorities.

Senate Resolution 809 created the five-member Senate Development Authorities and Downtown Development Authorities Study Committee.

In an announcement, Sen. Max Burns, R-Sylvania, said the committee will explore ways “we can maximize the benefit brought to our communities by local development authorities, while also ensuring proper safeguards are in place to protect taxpayers from abuse.”

“While Georgia is home to large economic centers such as Atlanta and Savannah, our state’s small businesses that line main streets and city squares are the backbone of the state’s economy,” Burns added. “While local development authorities are responsible for much of the prosperity we see in our small towns, the state currently lacks any oversight of these authorities or data on millions of dollars of tax abatements issued by them.”

While committee members will receive compensation for their work, it is not entirely clear how much the committee will cost taxpayers. Senate members will receive their per diem from the Senate budget, Emma Johnson, director of communications for Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan, told The Center Square.

According to SR 809, members will not receive pay for more than three days “unless additional days are authorized.”

By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor

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