Bryan County residents will vote whether or not to approve a Freeport Exemption for e-commerce fulfillment centers on the Nov. 8 ballot after commissioners approved the measure at a special meeting Monday.
A vast majority of counties in Georgia — 142 out of 159 — have a Freeport Exemption in place and most of those are at 100 percent, including Bryan and all surrounding counties. Current exemptions to inventory tax apply to raw materials and goods in the process of manufacture, finished goods produced in Georgia within the last 12 months and finished goods stored in Georgia within the last 12 months and destined for shipment out of state.
Public Act 539, which took effect July 1, allows for a fourth category for e-commerce fulfillment centers (think Amazon) if they meet two criteria: a location used to pack, ship, store or process tangible personal property sold by electronic means and does not allow customers to purchase or receive goods on-site. Local inventory tax would not be charged on items held at such a center for 12 months or less if the measure is approved.
Anna Chafin, chief executive officer at the Development Authority of Bryan County, said having the exemption in place would be “another tool in our toolbox” that would help recruit industry and jobs to the area.
Amazon recently announced it would build an 800,000-square-foot distribution center in Jacksonville, creating 1,500 jobs.