It is summer as I write this column, and almost everyone loves fishing, but most people hate reading articles on tax incentives and economic development. I have decided to mix the two to
make my own Sharknado!
The prize fish in the angling world is the
elusive Blue Marlin. This fish can weigh up to
2,000 pounds and is one of the apex predators of
the sea. It takes a lot of skill, money and resources
to catch one of these trophy fish, much like trying
to land a large Fortune 500 corporation that will
stimulate your local economy, as well as your
airport. So how does one set out to hook one of
these prize catches? Well, first you need the right
equipment and an experienced crew.
In Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport’s
case, that equipment and crew were the resources
from the Savannah Airport Commission, the city
of Savannah, Savannah Economic Development
Authority (SEDA), Chatham County, the Georgia
Department of Transportation and many more.
The next step is to have the right bait. When
going after big fish, you have to use big bait. So
when Blue Marlin fishing, you usually use live
tuna fish for bait. In our scenario, we used large
tax incentives. These incentives were created by
SEDA to help stimulate economic development in
Savannah. These tax incentives allow the private
corporation, which would be levied ad valorem tax
on the buildings and improvements that it builds,
to sign over ownership to these improvements in a
contractual agreement with SEDA.
SEDA is a constitutional, quasi-government
authority that is tax exempt. In the agreement,
On the Savannah Airport Commission’s last
big economic project, the airport used its grant
How To Land The Big One
By John F. Rauback, A.A.E.
Once you have landed your Blue
Marlin, the next step is to enjoy the
boat ride back to shore, take some
pictures and bask in your glory for the
moment before you start planning the