Officials say referendum would help businesses

ALBANY, Ga. -- Referendum A, an initiative designed to bring Georgia more in line with the rest of the nation, is the only referendum on the state's Nov. 2 ballot, and joins five proposed constitutional amendments.

If approved by the voters, the referendum would end the state property tax on business inventories.

The referendum officially reads: "Shall the act be approved which grants an exemption from state ad valorem taxation for inventory of a business?"

Georgia is currently one of six states that levies a property tax on business inventory.

"Approval of the referendum will have no direct impact on Dougherty County, because that money all goes directly to the state anyway," County Administrator Richard Crowdis said.

Albany Area Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Public Policy and Communications Wendy Martin said approval of the referendum would benefit local businesses and help attract new ones.

"We continually advocate for measures that will stimulate job creation and cut costs for our members," Martin said. "Referendum A eliminates the state portion of the ad valorem tax on business inventories, which cost retailers and other businesses millions of dollars a year and discourages companies from locating their warehousing and distribution facilities in Georgia.

"In addition to supporting our existing businesses, we support initiatives that eliminate barriers that might cause a new business to locate somewhere other than our community."