“I have been working to make Georgia the most business-friendly state in the nation.”
Government does not create jobs. Working with that premise, it has been a top priority of mine to help create a healthy economy in which new jobs can be made so our District and the state can flourish.
The district needs to continue to use and market its assets to bring in good jobs that offer real benefits and pay. In order for these jobs to come, government needs to get out of the way! Such government interference in the free market essentially steals profits, hinders job growth, and suppresses the small business from growing and competing. If you doubt this, just try opening a lemonade stand without breaking some law. I have been working to make Georgia the most business-friendly state in the nation. In fact, because of the policies I have supported over the last eight years, Georgia has been named as the top place to do business in the United States, five years in a row.
Also, because of the policies I have supported during my years of service, Georgia ranks first in the nation for growth in women-owned businesses.
Rep. Spencer’s Record on Jobs
HB 1 (2017) — The Georgia Spaceflight Act. Creates a limited liability shield for space flight operators and manufacturers of space vehicles in the State of Georgia. This law is the minimum commercial space industry standard that space companies desire in order to bring jobs to the state. This is one of Representative Spencer’s signature legislative achievements.
HR 389 (2017) – creates the House Rural Development Council which is tasked with the study of the economic development and revitalization of rural Georgia.
HB 314 (2017) – known as the Georgia Agribusiness and Rural Jobs Act – allows an investor (termed “rural investor” in the bill), who makes a capital investment in a rural fund, a credit against the entity’s state tax liability.
HB 73 (2017): Rural Development: creates tax incentives to promote the revitalization of vacant rural downtowns.
HB 933 (2014) This will makes permanent the sales tax exemption for the parts or equipment used in the maintenance or repair of aircraft. Large commercial and private aircraft service businesses generate lots of very high paying jobs. These aircraft fly to the states that offer them the best value, and by permanently eliminating the threat of taxes; these repair facilities will have the confidence to grow their Georgia operations and payrolls.
HB958 (2014) This legislation renews the $25 million dollar tax credit for qualified interactive video game production. The legislation also renews the back to school and energy star sales tax exemptions for two more years. I voted to keep more money on the pockets of private industry and the individual. Tax credits are NOT tax subsidies. A subsidy is where government takes money from one person by force and gives it to another person. A tax credit means the government takes less money by force from a person who has earned it. Therein lies the difference.
HB298 (2013) creates the privately funded Agriculture Commodity Commission requested by the Commissioner of Agriculture to better promote agricultural products grown in Georgia. Agriculture is the number one industry in Georgia, and I support using private funds to promote Georgia grown products.
HB361, HB362, & SB179 (2013) strengthened Georgia’s Right To Work status. Protects the secret ballot in union elections and prevents any State agency, local government, authority, department, commission, board, or similar agency from requiring private businesses to use unionized labor.
HB100 (2011-2012) creates the Georgia Tax Court which would provide a venue for taxpayers to resolve problems with Georgia Department of Revenue.
HB386 (2011-2012) raises the tax exemption for married couples to reduce the “marriage penalty,” replaces the sales and ad valorem taxes on automobile sales with a one time title tax, eliminates the State sales tax on energy for manufacturers and agricultural business, provides other tax exemptions for business inputs in the agricultural industry, brings back annual sales tax holidays for certain items, and requires certain online retailers to collect Georgia sales tax to provide a more level playing field for Georgia’s bricks and mortar retailers. When fully implemented, the bill was a $200 million tax cut for Georgia’s businesses and individuals.
HB863 (2011-2012) changes State law to give small businesses a better chance to sell products to the State government.
HB868 (2011-2012) was recommended by Governor Deal’s Competitiveness Committee. It modernizes several business tax credits making Georgia more competitive.
HB872 (2011-2012) seeks to strengthen Georgia’s laws dealing with metal theft. Metal theft had been costing Georgia employers millions each year.
HB1027 (2011-2012) renewed Georgia tax credit for film and video production as well as tax credit for video game production. According to the Motion Picture Association, this tax credit is responsible for 23,757 direct jobs and $1.3 billion in wages in Georgia.
Rep. Spencer Votes to Defend the Free Market
Tax incentives, like the Georgia Tourism Development Act “tax incentive” in HB 234 (2011) & HB 318 (2013), has yet to demonstrate a positive benefit to our economy since being enacted and amended. This tax incentive is truly a subsidy in reality. Although the tourism “tax incentive” was sold to lawmakers as a “jobs creating” measure, this law has yet to create one job in Georgia or in our district. This particular incentive will subsidize private industry with tax dollars rather than merely exempting them from paying taxes, which would keep industry’s money circulating in the private economy. Amendments have been made to HB 234 to correct underlying problems, but constitutional problems still remain. I am told by the Department of Community Affairs, that this subsidy has yet to be awarded to a prospective company, but the first award could happen this year.
I generally oppose tax incentives that subsidize private industry because it puts tax dollars at a higher risk. Furthermore, most subsidies are created from emotional motivations rather than based on facts that can be properly validated. Good tax policy must always be validated and reviewed based on the facts, not on emotion or “feel good” economics. Also, there was an “Angel Investment” capitol fund created in HB 318 as well. This venture capital fund would use taxpayer dollars to fund high risk but promising start-up companies. If the start-up company fails, then the taxpayer takes a loss.
According to the Georgia Constitution, taxpayers are not allowed to take a loss on an investment, especially one that goes to private industry. That loss to the Georgia taxpayer would be considered a gratuity (a gift), and that is not permitted under our state constitution (Art. III, Sec. VI, Para. VI(a)). The Gratuities Clause of the Georgia Constitution provides that “the General Assembly shall not have the power to grant any donation or gratuity.” Giving away subsidies to favored companies is not free market economics, it is crony capitalism; therefore, this practice does not sustain real job growth. The government should not be in the business of being a bank for venture capitalist to finance risky ventures. Venture capitalist banking should be left to the private market and the investment banking industry. I voted “NO” on both HB 234 (2011) & HB 318 (2013).