GEDA’s biggest event of the year – the Annual Meeting
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Posted by: Greg Wright
By Greg Wright
GEDA Board Chair, 2016
GEDA’s biggest event of the year – the Annual Meeting – is only days away, and I hope you have already made plans to attend. Missy Kendrick and her planning committee have worked long and hard on a great event, and I know you will not be disappointed.
As a local economic developer, I am anxious to hear the keynote presentation by Christopher Lloyd from McGuire Woods Consulting. “Growing Your Organization Amid Local Pressure – The Politics of Local Economic Development” is sure to be an eye-opener for everyone. I’m sure every development authority executive has at least one story of how politics impacted their economic development efforts, and I think Christopher’s presentation will be a welcome topic for everyone.
On another topic, I want to thank our Public Policy Committee, led by Al Nash, and our Development Authority Executives Committee chaired by Benjy Thompson. Over the last few years, these committees have spent a great deal of time discussing and educating us on the impact of GASB 77. Last year, the General Accounting Standards Board (GASB) issued Statement No. 77, which dealt with the reporting of economic development incentives. GEDA and economic development organizations all across the country took firm positions against implementation of GASB 77. Unfortunately, our efforts were not successful, and governments all across the country began focusing attention on how to comply with the directive.
In an effort to assist Georgia governments with compliance, the Georgia Department of Revenue added a section to its tax digest submission instructions. Included was a new form for local governments to use listing properties owned by local development authorities and properties located within local enterprise zones. The information to be provided exceeded the requirements of GASB 77 and was not statutorily required.
Working with a number of organizations including the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and the Georgia Municipal Association, GEDA reached out to the Department of Revenue on behalf of local economic development organizations. I am happy to report that thanks to their hard work, the Department reconsidered its decision and removed the section from the instructions. Information about economic development incentives is a matter of public record, but exceeding the requirements of state law and of GASB 77 reporting requirements had the potential of putting our communities at a competitive disadvantage when competing with other states for economic development projects.
Again, my thanks to these committees and to these two great leaders for their hard work and dedication to helping our local economic development community.