Gov. Nathan Deal speaks to the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce on July 9, 2013.

Gov. Nathan Deal dropped by Sandy Springs on Tuesday and talked to the community’s business leaders during a luncheon at First Data hosted by the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce.

“Our job growth has certainly exceeded the national average,” Deal said. “In fact, a recent study, and I believe it was done by On Numbers, they place our state as No. 7 and me as No. 7 among governors for job creation among current governors in the U.S.”

The Perimeter, home to Fortune 500 companies, has played an important role in the state’s job creation efforts, Deal said.

The governor said Georgia’s low ranking in another category is actually a compliment.

“We are a state that has a very favorable tax structure,” Deal said. “We are ranked No. 50 in terms of the burden of taxes on our citizens. That’s where it’s good to be No. 50.”

Deal encouraged local business leaders to contact their members of Congress and encourage them to support deepening of the port of Savannah, one of his top economic development initiatives.

“This is a Georgia priority,” he said. “It is not a coastal priority.”