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AJC DEEPER FINDINGS | Report: Georgia tax breaks could have paid for more than 1,100 teachers

Georgia earned another high ranking in a new national report about business, but this one was about potential jobs lost, not gained.

Local governments gave away a collective $64 million in corporate tax breaks, according to the report by the group Good Jobs First. Though granted by local governments, the money came out of school district budgets, and it was enough to hire more than 1,100 teachers, the report said. Georgia ranked tenth in the nation for tax breaks.

The information is available due to a new accounting rule from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board — Statement 77 on Tax Abatement Disclosures. “Thousands of America’s public school districts are, for the first time ever, reporting how much revenue they lose to corporate tax breaks granted in the name of economic development,” the report said. A statement accompanying it noted that many school districts apparently did not comply with the new accounting rule.

The report details the Georgia school districts with the largest abatements and notes that 74 of them — fewer than half in the state — provided the Statement 77 information.

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