The Sandy Springs City Council approved incentives to lure a business into the city that claims it will create 289 jobs in Sandy Springs, but the council said they were wary about using that as a template for a long-term economic development policy.
The unspecified project, code-named Project Gamma by City Manager John McDonough, will receive tax incentives. McDonough did not get a chance to explain the incentives before going into a closed-door executive session to discuss legal matters. The template the city was asked to consider long-term included expediting a company’s permitting process, waving permit and impact fees and waiving the business occupational tax up to $75,000 annually. The city could waive business license taxes for up to three years, provided the company provides $5 million in capital investment and creates more than 100 jobs. The waver can be up to $75,000 annually.
Mayor Eva Galambos cautioned that the city should not “play favorites” with economic development policies.
“We need to give this a tremendous amount of thought,” Galambos said. Councilwoman Karen Meinzen McEnerny echoed that concern.
Bob Simmons, Chief Development Officer for the Development Authority of Fulton County, said the proposed policy for the city is sound.
“It’s 289 jobs you will have tomorrow you don’t have today,” Simmons told the council. “It is a pro-business attitude and it shows to the other people out there … that Sandy Springs does have a pro-business attitude.”