(The Center Square) – Gov. Brian Kemp is expected to sign a coronavirus economic relief package for Georgia businesses.
The measure, House Bill 846, offers a tax incentive for companies that manufacture personal protective equipment and extends the Quality Jobs Tax Credit program.
The General Assembly approved the bill before ending its legislative session Friday. The Senate voted 46-3 in favor of the bill, and the House gave it a 110-58 final nod.
The measure does come with a financial burden to the state. Georgia already is facing a projected revenue shortfall of $2.1 billion because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rep. Burt Reeves, R-Marietta, told lawmakers Friday the tax incentives could cost the state between $4.3 million and $13.1 million.
Kemp expressed support for the bill ahead of the final chamber votes.
"Throughout our fight with COVID-19, Georgia businesses have faced a changing landscape, forcing them to scale back operations and send hardworking Georgians home from work as they struggled to meet payroll," Kemp said in a statement last week. "Meanwhile, countless manufacturers – large and small – across Georgia have stepped up to produce critical supplies and ensure that our state remains prepared to protect frontline health care workers and our most vulnerable populations. We could not be more grateful for their support."
The bill would allow employers in the Quality Jobs Tax Credit program to use the number of full-time employees they claimed in 2019 in the 2020 and 2021 tax years.
The personal protective equipment tax credit would be given to businesses that manufacture items such as masks, gloves, face shields and hand sanitizers.
Companies that qualify for the tax credits could get an additional $1,250 per job. The personal protective equipment credits can be used to offset the company's income tax, and any leftovers can cover payroll tax liabilities. The credit expires Jan. 1, 2025.
More than 260 Georgia companies have stepped up to produce personal protective equipment in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development.