The candidates seeking the job of sole commissioner in Chattooga County were all in attendance at Thursday’s political forum.
Candidates were asked about bringing industry into Chattooga County which brought on a variety of opinions. Jason Winters said that it was important for Chattooga County to phase in Freeport Tax for Industry which would help potential manufacturers with inventory taxes. Winters said by phasing in Freeport it would cost the county between $75-$100,000 per year for four years. Winters also stated that it was important to put Chattooga County on parody with surrounding counties to attract industry.
Blake Jones echoed Winters views about Freeport and stated that he had a "plan" to work with state officials and go out and actively seek new industry for Chattooga County.
Republican Charles Black did not see the implementation of freeport tax as a priority and stated that he would mainly work with the state elected officials to attract industry. Black took the view that due to Chattooga County’s current infrastructure the county should only work towards what he called "attainable goals" as far as new industry and jobs for the county.
Incumbent Mike Dawson stated that he disagreed with Jones and Winters regarding Freeport and that he felt the county needed to work on infrastructure before implementing Freeport which was approved by the voters four years ago.
Joe Reed stated that there were "pros and cons" to the Freeport issue and cautioned about the possibility that implementation of Freeport would in his opinion possibly transfer more of the tax burden to residents, but that Freeport should be a tool available to the county commissioner.