Proposed bill could bring business to rural South Georgia towns - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Proposed bill could bring business to rural South Georgia towns

A new bill up for vote during this legislative session could help bring rural downtowns back to life.(Source:WALB) A new bill up for vote during this legislative session could help bring rural downtowns back to life.(Source:WALB)
(Source:WALB) (Source:WALB)
(Source:WALB) (Source:WALB)
Becky Reyes is the city clerk of Pavo and has been for many years.(Source:WALB) Becky Reyes is the city clerk of Pavo and has been for many years.(Source:WALB)
PAVO, GA (WALB) -

A new bill up for vote during this legislative session could help bring rural downtowns back to life.

The bill targets rural areas that are suffering from difficult economic conditions.  

Some of those rural communities are right here in South Georgia.

It would offer tax credits to businesses wanting to come into the area.

In the small rural town of Pavo, traffic buzzes by, some stop and some are just traveling through.

Alan Jackson picked the town to be the scene of his song called the little man.

It's not a big city but to some it's just enough. 

Becky Reyes is the city clerk of Pavo and has been for many years.

"I've never been anywhere like this it's like this, it's like mayberry and I dont see me being anywhere else. I want to help my town," said Reyes

Help could soon be on the way.

A new bill proposed by a georgia house representative wants to create new perks for businesses willing to take a chance on this town, and many other small downtowns.

"We're lacking in so many different things when the town was so vibrant not that long ago," said Reyes.

The small town of Pavo was the place to be back in it's prime and soon the new tax credit proposal could bring businesses right back to these vacant buildings.

"I think once these people see this, that want to start a small business will come in and have a choice of a building, with some renovation. The community will support them! We need incentive," said Reyes.

Under the new bill businesses would receive tax credits for creating jobs, as well as for buying and rehabbing vacant storefronts in these small towns. 

"I see the light in everything, its going to take some time. But I think we will get back to when we were just busting out," said Reyes.

And hopefully bring back 'the little man'

House bill 73 has already passed the committee vote. 

It was drafted as a joint effort between Nashville representative Penny Houston and the Department of Community Affairs.

The bill offers incentives through a series of tax credits: a job tax credit, an investment credit and a rehabilitation credit.

The Job Tax Credit would be $2,000 per full-time job per year, up to 5 years.

The Investment Credit is equivalent to 25% of the purchase price. This credit is for an investor who purchases a building downtown.

The Rehabilitation Credit is equivalent to 50% of the qualified rehabilitation.

The goal is to inject life back into rural downtowns, and draw people back to the heart of their communities. 

Copyright 2017 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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