Monday, October 12, 2009

Unemployed Georgia: Land of Opportunity

Georgia Public Broadcasting aired this story about a private corrections company going to Georgia's most employable county (read: the community most desperate for economic development) "to educate job seekers and generate support for the project within the community."
Something tells me the educational aspect of this meeting will be something along the lines of 'we need a whole bunch of tax credits and other incentives to write your town into our bid.'
Although vague on the details, I couldn't help but wonder if this Georgia Department of Corrections' Request For Proposals to construct a 1000-bed public-private institution is the same Corrections RFP that inspired the Milledgeville City Council to extend the city's opportunity zone all the way across South Milledgeville to Baldwin State Prison in order to attract a similar bid from a private corrections company.
In South Milledgeville, an expanded opportunity zone--a Georgia Department of Community Affairs program that offers tax credits to employers for job creation--creates opportunities for business development of any size, and largely shields the municipal and county governments from bearing the burden of incentivizing a private company's locating their new facility in your community.
But what happens when another community is desperate enough to give away the farm just to get the milk?

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