General Assembly Concludes Five-Day Special Session
The Georgia General Assembly adjourned Saturday after a special session called by Gov. Nathan Deal to address the historic damage caused by Hurricane Michael as it roared through southwest Georgia last month. The House of Representatives and State Senate passed an amended fiscal year 2019 budget that appropriates $270 million to aide those areas impacted by the storm that includes the funds referenced below for the Georgia Development Authority. "It’s a very sobering thing… how agriculture is important to our economy and how we lead in the production of peanuts and pecans and forest products," said Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black in addressing the House Appropriations Committee. "We are accustomed to leading in production. Now we lead in destruction. What we’ve got to do as a family of Georgians is lead in reconstruction. That’s what I’m committed to do. Every breath that we have will be committed to working alongside you," he added. A separate measure of interest also passed that allows timberland owners in the 28 designated counties to apply for an income tax refund or a tradeable tax credit worth 100 percent of timberland’s value lost to Hurricane Michael. This is contingent upon reforestation of the property. The income tax credit has a cap of $200 million and the credit would be capped at $400 per eligible acre of qualified timberland. Eligible counties include Baker, Bleckley, Brooks, Calhoun, Clay, Colquitt, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Dooley, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Laurens, Lee, Lowndes, Miller, Mitchell, Pulaski, Randolph, Seminole, Sumter, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner, Wilcox and Worth counties. Our thanks go to Gov. Deal and the leadership of the house and senate for quickly coalescing around these helpful initiatives to help our fellow Georgians.