Tax Breaks For Developers May Leave Parks Dry

Tax incentives of nearly $10 million have been approved for hotel and condo development on one of Georgia's struggling state parks, but some worry that providing tax breaks leaves little or no money left for park maintenance and improvements.

The board that runs Jekyll Island, the financially strapped state park that's in line for billions of dollars of new hotels and condos, recently granted one of the nation's largest developers a rent break that could top $10 million.

The Jekyll Island Authority board approved a passel of incentives last month for Trammell Crow Co. and partners that is scheduled to run through 2020. Local and state governments routinely offer subsidies to spur development, particularly in little-developed, undesirable locales."

"Meanwhile, other developers planning big hotel and condo projects on Jekyll said last week they too would seek similar subsidies from the Authority, which could hinder the state park's ability to fix its historic district or renourish its beaches. The authority, which rarely receives state funds, doesn't have enough money for all upgrades."

"Ben Porter, chairman of the authority board, defends the incentives, saying they are necessary to ensure Trammell Crow moves forward quickly with the proposed $90 million hotel and condo project."

Full Story: Jekyll deal 'giveaway' to developer?

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