News 12 at 11 o'clock / Monday, Jan. 23, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Fort Gordon is already an economic engine that pumps millions of dollars into our area, but now plans in the works would create three new military zones just outside its gates.
These zones would provide valuable tax breaks for businesses that add two or more new jobs.
The Development Authority of Richmond County approved the creation of these zones.
"The good thing about military zones is that they're created by the state of Georgia to offer state tax incentives for any kind of business to locate in these zones," said Executive Director Walter Sprouse.
Any kind of business -- from retail to the service industry and many more -- could benefit from these new zones.
Mayor Deke Copenhaver said these zones will really help to grow this area of the city.
"The key is that's where we have the room for growth is out near Fort Gordon and it's a huge economic engine for the city," Copenhaver said.
Every business that creates two or more jobs will get a $3,500 tax credit for each new employee. These tax credits will last for five years.
"It's kind of hard to find something wrong with a tax break that could help both sides, both bringing in extra business and help making small businesses stronger," said business owner Marc Kirkwood Deal.
Deal's business, Kirkwood's Music and Repair, is in a potential military zone.
He says economic growth is always a good thing.
"It'll either help or can't hurt," Deal said. "I don't see how it could be a negative impact."
The three military zones would stretch around the northeast corner of Fort Gordon from the county line to 520 and all the way down to Tobacco Road.
The zones have to be made official by the State Department of Community Affairs. Sprouse said he believes this could take around one month.
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