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February 14--  The Toombs County Commission is pledging to provide one mil of local property tax money each year through 2021 to the Toombs County Development Authority.

The Commission started making the investment in the early 1990's and it's paid off, according to Bill Mitchell of the Development Authority.

"Looking at the return on investment we've made in the last ten years, it's pretty obvious with regard to Trane, Dot Food, U.S. Energy and some of the other companies which have located here.  It's employment, it's economic development," he says.

County officials report the Development Authority will receive about $576,000 in tax dollars this year.  Mitchell says the money is an investment to make Toombs County competitive in the search for industry.

"The reason we've asked for it is to be able to fund projects that are looking to come to Georgia or the United States.  A good example of that is Chicken of the Sea and U.S. Pet.  If we didn't have the money to put up, we wouldn't get much help from the state.  Just as important, in order to do bonding and long-term financing, funding has to be available and this insures we'll have that funding available," Mitchell says.

The Authority told the commission Chicken of the Sea has been averaging a workforce of over 200 jobs, and Mitchell says our unemployment rate would be much higher if it weren't for the county's cash.

"I can't overemphasize the importance of the number of jobs which have been created over the past ten or 15 years as a result of that.  As bad as unemployment has been, can you imagine what it would have been had we not got those jobs," he points out.