Gov. Deal signs bill to revamp tourism - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Gov. Deal signs bill to revamp tourism

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ATLANTA (WRCB) -- Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill Monday which would revamp tourism.

House Bill 318, or the Georgia Tourism Development Act, allows tax exemptions for certain approved projects in order to stimulate the creation of tourism attractions or the expansion of existing attractions.

The bill would allow certain companies that build new attractions to maintain a portion of their sales tax revenue for 10 years.

In order to qualify, the projects must cost a minimum of $1 million, attract at least 25 percent of its visitors from out of state by its third year and must not directly compete with Georgia business.

"This legislation bolsters one of Georgia's most important industries," said Deal. "With these new incentives, we hope to grow the industry even more by encouraging the construction of new attractions. An existing Georgia business, such as the Atlanta Motor Speedway, also stands to benefit if it chooses to significantly expand or improve its campus. However, this bill is about more than any one location. It is about creating jobs for Georgians and taking another step toward making our state the best place in the nation in which to do business."

According to GDEcD, the tourism industry employed around 400,000 Georgians in 2011 and generated more than $49 billion.

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