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      Deal signs multiple bills including tax holidays

      Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has been on a roll Monday, signing multiple bills passed by the state congress.Deal signed House Bill 958, legislation that will extend the statewide back-to-school tax-free holiday and ENERGY STAR and WaterSense appliance tax-free holiday weekends for an additional two years.The sales tax holidays will allow Georgia TMs families to save money on those necessary items for school and on appliances that will help conserve Georgia TMs energy resources, Deal said in the release. This tax reform package has made our state a better place to work and raise a family, and I will continue my commitment to maintaining our status as having one of the lowest per capita taxpayer burdens in the country.The fiscal note estimates that over the two-year time period the two-day back-to-school holiday, taking place this year on August 1-2, will save Georgians up to $143 million and the energy efficient household appliance tax holiday, taking place this year on October 3-5, will save taxpayers $2.6 million.The bill also provides a new sales tax exemption for Georgia TMs food banks, an initiative that will help sustain charitable service across the state, saving an estimated $2.5 million over two years.I strongly believe in the mission of our local food banks, Deal said. With their help, we have been able to actively fight against hunger, serve those less fortunate and assist with disaster relief. It is my hope that this tax exemption will make room for a significant amount of growth and progress for those organizations.In addition, the bill extends the tax credit for video game production companies and provides an extension of the project of regional significance sales tax exemption.Deal also signed HB 715 and SB 296 into law on Monday. These bills help promote the responsible development of Jekyll Island and outlines the maximum amount of land the Jekyll Island Authority may develop and authorizes certain amounts of land for the purpose of public recreation, safety, health, expansion of campgrounds and unrestricted use.Jekyll Island is home to a vast range of some of Georgia TMs most precious natural resources and wildlife, said Deal. This bill will allow for Jekyll to make key redevelopments, elevating its reputation as one of Georgia TMs most beautiful and exciting tourism destinations while preserving the natural and historic environment found near its shores.Finally, Deal signed HB 881, legislation that will create a specialty tag for the Grady Health Foundation and will adjust the funding allocation for three specialty wildlife tags critical to the Department of Natural Resource TMs nongame, trout management and bobwhite quail conservation programs.