MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- State Representative Allen Peake presented the "Georgia Downtown Renaissance Act" in the Georgia House of Representatives Monday, and the support was over-whelming.
Roger Ruiz owns Doughboy Pizza in Macon. He supports the state's push to bring more business to downtown areas.
"It's always better, even if it's more restaurants in the area," says Ruiz.
The goal of the act, formally known as House Bill 128 is to bring more developers to downtowns all over the state. Peake says nearly 90 representatives signed it.
"Downtowns are the heart beat and pulse of a community, there is no doubt about that," says Peake.
The bill provides tax incentives in downtown districts for the following: building new, or renovating old buildings, purchasing or significantly improving housing, and (individuals and corportations) contributing to a low-interest revolving loan called the "Georgia Renaissance Fund."
"Macon would be in a sweet spot for this type of tax credit," says Alex Morrison, Executive Director of the Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority.
Morrison says this incentive package will help fill a gap that's been missing for developers in downtown, and encourage them to go past Cherry and Mulberry Streets.
"This might be the push that someone needs to bring up their property or make an investment in this area," says Morrison.
As Ruiz has seen, the return on his investment goes beyond the money he earns.
"Downtown has a very unique personality and to be right in the middle of that is just kind of a blessing finding a place like this," says Ruiz.
The bill will go before committee next, and then head back to the House of Representatives for a vote. Peake says because it is a tax incentive proposal it may not be voted on during this session,
but he's going to push to move this bill through the legislative process quickly.