A new 2 percent excise tax soon will be levied on energy used in manufacturing by Columbia County industries after it was given approval Tuesday.
County commissioners unanimously approved the tax, which replaces a 2 percent sales tax previously charged on energy used by factories.
Industries across Georgia received an exemption from those sales taxes by state legislation enacted last year that allows counties to recoup the lost revenue by imposing the excise tax.
After the tax is added, Columbia County industries will pay 3 percent of energy used in county taxes, down from 7 percent in total sales tax prior to the new law.
Commissioners also approved fees for renting the county’s exhibition hall at the Gateway Center near Grovetown. The facility is expected to open June 10, about a month later than initially projected.
Commissioners also approved spending nearly $12,000 from sales tax funding to add a dozen benches at Evans Towne Center Park. The benches include spaces for commemorative plaques. Each bench is available for sponsorships for $1,300, with profits supporting the county’s Arts Development Fund that provides grants for organizations seeking to use county facilities.