Democratic candidate for governor Roy Barnes on Thursday unveiled his plan to boost Georgia’s economy, proposing $300 million in tax credits for businesses that hire more workers or raise salaries in Georgia.
Barnes also proposed expanding access to high-speed Internet and spending $25 million to create a biomedical research park in Georgia similar to the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina.
“It is time to create our own research triangle and we will call it InVest Georgia Biomedical Research Park,” Barnes said at a news conference in Midtown Atlanta Technology Square.
Also among the ideas on Barnes’ 17-page “Jobs Plan” are:
• Eliminating all Georgia capital gains taxes for two years for people who invest their gains in community banks, businesses and properties in the state;
• Starting a Georgia Capital Access Partnership to promote lending to small businesses;
• Investing in mass transit, including high-speed rail, and improving and expanding the statewide highway system.
Citing Barnes’ proposal for $300 million in tax breaks, Republican Nathan Deal’s campaign accused the Democrat of flip-flopping on such incentives. During the Democratic primary, Barnes asserted in campaign speeches that many such breaks should be scrapped, saying “when you tell everybody the choices are between all of these exemptions and keeping teachers in the classroom, I believe the teachers win, the children win.”
“Roy Barnes just this summer bashed ’special interest’ business tax breaks. Now, ‘Reverse Roy’ is promoting ’special interest’ business tax breaks,” Deal spokesman Brian Robinson said.
On Thursday, Barnes told reporters: “There is nothing wrong with an incentive that is time-limited and directly affecting the creation of jobs.”