Tourism bill could help Columbus - WRBL

Tourism bill could help Columbus

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Georgia lawmakers are a big step closer to approving revisions needed for the state to begin offering tax breaks designed to boost the development of tourist attractions.

The state House voted 149-18 last week to approve an amended version of the 2011 Georgia Tourism Development Act. Among other changes, lawmakers eliminated the governor's direct role in awarding the incentives.

The measure allows new tourist attractions to keep a portion of the sales taxes they collect for 10 years. State agencies say technical changes are needed before the rebates can become reality.

The House voted to give final approval of projects receiving the rebate to the heads of the departments of Community Affairs and Economic Development. The previous version gave final approval to the governor.

The Senate must approve the revisions.

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