Legislature approves Overbey bill to boost jobs growth

09 legislative session on June 18, Sen. Doug Overbey had reason to celebrate.

The General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1203, sponsored by Overbey and Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) that authorizes tax incentives for private investors to create a pool of capital totaling $120 million for small businesses.

The bill creates the TNINVESTCO Program to provide benefits to small, medium-sized, and start-up businesses that do not enjoy the same economic development incentives that have been provided to the larger companies that invest capital in Tennessee, said Overbey.

“The overwhelming majority of jobs in this state are created by small businesses,” Overbey said. “We are a state of entrepreneurs, but there is a lack of adequate capital to take those ideas and grow a business. This bill will give them that opportunity.” The bill authorizes tax incentives for private investors to create a pool of capital totaling $120 million. That money will be divided among professional investment firms. These Tennessee-based firms will then invest the money in small businesses located and headquartered in Tennessee. The money must remain invested in Tennessee for 10 years.

Under the plan, investors receive a tax credit against insurance premiums taxes that spread over years three through 10 of the program. Even though the capital will be available for small businesses immediately, there are no tax credits for investors until 2012. Capital returned to the state must first go to the General Fund. Once enough money has been repaid, the remaining funds will be deposited in the Rural Opportunity Fund.

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