(The Center Square) — Georgia officials have lauded the decisions of companies to either relocate their headquarters or expand their operations in Georgia.
Whether the state of Georgia offered tax incentives to those companies is a closely-guarded secret, and taxpayers will not know until the state says the project is complete and no longer “in progress.”
Earlier this month, state officials announced Norma Precision Ammunition, a subsidiary of Swiss-based ammunition manufacturer RUAG Ammotec, established its U.S. headquarters, a manufacturing site and warehousing and distribution operations in Chatham County.
“This remains an active project, so the state is not able to comment beyond the release at this time,” Marie Gordon, director of communications of marketing, communications and international engagement for the Georgia Department of Economic Development, told The Center Square.
The state similarly declined to divulge whether it offered any incentives to Boehringer Ingelheim, a German pharmaceutical development and manufacturing company. The company plans to invest $57 million to increase laboratory space and bring additional research and development capabilities to its Athens location, including 55 new positions.
In another instance, the state awarded a $300,000 EDGE Grant via the Griffin Spalding Development Authority for Ecopol’s $38 million project to establish its North American headquarters and a manufacturing plant in Spalding County. Italy-based Ecopol, a manufacturer of biodegradable PVA film, will create 130 new jobs through the project.
Conversely, the state did not give any incentives to Trenton Systems, a Georgia-based high-performance computer manufacturer that opened its new headquarters in Duluth. The company plans to add more than 50 new positions over the year.
Gordon said that economic development projects that receive incentives from the state are posted publicly on the Department of Economic Development’s website within five business days of finalized agreements.
“A very small minority of projects receive these types of incentives from the state level, and they are typically … used to help provide needed solutions to close a deal,” Gordon told The Center Square. “Because economic development is a competitive business, Georgia’s offers are protected from competitor states during the investment process and allow for privacy for companies during that time.”
By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor