Augusta Could Impose Energy Tax To Help Balance Budget - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Augusta Could Impose Energy Tax To Help Balance Budget

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Augusta's manufacturers may pay more taxes next year.

The proposed 2014 city budget is short about $8 million, and to help offset that, City Administrator Fred Russell recommends a 2% energy tax for manufacturers.

Georgia state law allows plants to avoid paying sales tax on the energy they buy, but also allows local governments the option to tack on a percent-tax.

Russell says, if the city does add the tax, businesses still get a break. "When the state did that cut, they got a 6 percent decrease in their energy tax, or their sales tax on energy. Now, they're only paying 2 percent of what they [were] originally paying now, so even if we take that back, they still get half. That's not a bad deal for anybody at this point," says Russell.

Russell says the 2% tax would generate $1.5 million for the city.

The state approved the tax break as an economic development tool to encourage industrial growth in Georgia and create new jobs, or keep current business from leaving.

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