Gainesville City Council voted Tuesday on an agreement with other local governments that will allow them to collect a 2 percent sales tax from local manufacturers on their energy use.
State lawmakers, seeking ways to attract more industry, decided earlier this year to phase out the tax over a four-year period.
If local governments charge the excise tax, manufacturers will still stop paying the 4 percent sales tax on their energy use that once went to the state. They will also still pay the 1 percent sales tax for local education initiatives.
In another matter, the council approved leasing a hangar at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport to the Georgia State Patrol for five years.
The hangar will house two helicopters used to assist local emergency responders in a 28-county area.
Previously, the helicopters were housed in Athens. For the past few months, the agency has operated out of the Gainesville airport, working on a month-to-month lease with the city until a more permanent agreement could be reached.
The Georgia Department of Public Safety’s board now will also have to vote to confirm the new deal.