Gasaway, Hall Face Off in State House Forum

The candidates for the 28th District State House seat square off.

Republican incumbent Representative Dan Gasaway and challenger Dr. Stacy Hall both spoke at a political forum Thursday at the Schaefer Center in downtown Toccoa sponsored by the Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce.

Jobs and economic development topped the agenda for both candidates.

Gasaway said he wants the state’s Department of Community Affairs to make it easier for communities to use the Opportunity Zone tax credit program, which gave businesses creating jobs in areas designated as opportunity zones state tax credits.

“The new administration has re-defined that to say the areas have to be areas of blight or redevelopment,” said Gasaway. “What I am working on right now with Commissioner (Chris) Carr, (the Georgia Commissioner of Economic Development), is to get them to go back to the vision that former (Department of ) Community Affairs Director (Mike) Beatty had for the tax credit, because I want the local economic development director to have this tax credit for his use.”

Meanwhile, Hall said the state needs to reward businesses that invest in themselves.

“If the government were to incentive companies for re-investing their earnings to help grow their business instead of taxing all earnings, just give companies a tax credit for investing in the company, expanding, or offering better benefits to their employees,” said Hall. “I think that would be very beneficial.”

The two also talked about the Wilbros odor controversy, where Gasaway pointed to his efforts on the issue over his time in office.

On the other hand, Hall said that he would author legislation that limits composting and the issues that the area has had with Wilbros, adding he feels that there is more that can be done.

The winner of this race will be unopposed in November and will represent the 28th District in the State House, which includes Stephens County, Banks County, and part of Habersham County.