Bleckley residents to vote on property tax agreement for businesses; could bring more jobs to area

COCHRAN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – As election day gets closer, residents who live in both Cochran and Bleckley County have a big decision to vote on that could mean bringing more jobs to the area. 

This November in Bleckley County may not be about voting for a new council members or commissioners, but about freeport exemption. 

Amy Harrelson, with the Cochran – Bleckley Chamber of Commerce, is posting signs on store fronts and street corners around town. She’s aiming to make sure residents are fully aware of what’s on the ballot — including freeport exemption. 

“It is not the only tool for economic development, but it certainly is one that is on the top of the list when business and industry are considering your community,” Harrelson said. 

The exemption calls for manufacturers to no longer have to pay property taxes on raw materials used to make goods, their finished products, and any materials not made in Georgia brought to their distribution facility. 

“We really need to focus on bringing business back to Bleckley County,” Harrelson said. 

Bleckley is one of only 14 counties in the state to not have freeport exemption; a “con” for manufacturers looking to move to the area.

In August, Bleckley had the 5th highest unemployment rate and Harrelson is looking to lower that number. 

“The state average is 7.5% and we’re still higher than every community around here,” she said. 

As signs of fall start to show around the city and county, officials are hoping business heats up to bring in more jobs. 

Harrelson says the chamber of commerce is working with several engineering firms to try and make the county’s industrial park more attractive to potential businesses. 

Residents will decide on November 4th. 

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