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Georgia Lawmakers Pass Measure to Enhance Tax Credits, Boost Research Funding

April 11, 2012

Lawmakers last month approved a $19.3 billion state budget for FY13, which includes funding for many of the recommendations from a task force convened by Gov. Nathan Deal to enhance the state's innovation economy. Specifically, the budget boosts funding for the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) to recruit researchers and allocates $5 million for cancer-related research. The legislature also passed a measure expanding the Georgia Jobs tax credits and R&D tax credit.

GRA is slated to receive $14 million under the approved budget, up from about $7.5 million last year. This includes $1.5 million to recruit two new research scholars under the Eminent Scholars program. GRA also will manage the Georgia Cancer coalition, which will receive $6 million primarily from tobacco settlement funds. Lawmakers also approved $5 million requested in the governor's budget for cancer-related research at Georgia Health Sciences University. Both were among the strategies targeted for investment in the state's innovation economy identified under the Georgia Competitiveness Initiative (see the Feb. 1, 2012 issue of the Digest).

Lawmakers also passed HB 868, a measure backed by Gov. Deal to modify job incentives and tax credit programs. The bill expands eligible industries under the Georgia Jobs tax credits program to include biomedical manufacturing and alternative energy products. The program provides up to $4,000 in annual tax savings per job for up to five years in seven strategic sectors, including manufacturing and R&D. The bill also modifies the state's R&D tax credit by allowing all companies that qualify for the credit to use the payroll withholding provision. Currently, only emerging companies during their first five years can apply for the credit to offset their payroll withholding once all other tax liability has been exhausted. The measure awaits action by the governor.

The budget bill, which also awaits Gov. Deal's signature, is available at: http://www1.legis.ga.gov/legis/2011_12/house/budget/reports/FY_2013_Bill....

Georgiastate budget, state tbed, bio, r&d, tax credits, cleantech, manufacturing