Georgia Aquarium and Cartersville auto museum might get tax breaks

Tax breaks for an expansion of the Georgia Aquarium and to help fund a new automobile history museum in Cartersville are advancing in the Georgia General Assembly.

The Georgia Aquarium would receive $4.5 million in tax breaks for a predator marine life exhibit, according to House Bill 793. The predator attraction and other upgrades to the aquarium, which would cost about $100 million, could be completed in 2020.

The Cartersville automobile history museum would receive tax discounts worth $960,000. The $35 million museum would celebrate "the diverse heritage of automobiles," featuring several galleries, a theater and an outdoor pavilion, according to the legislation.

Both the Georgia Aquarium and the auto history museum would receive the tax breaks in the form of sales tax exemptions on construction costs.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, said these kind of tax breaks have been awarded in the past, and the Cartersville project would bring economic growth to that community.

The Senate Finance Committee approved HB 793 on a 4-1 vote Monday. The measure is on track for a vote in the full Senate after it passed the House of Representatives on Feb. 28.

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