Available Financial Incentives
Military Zone Tax Credit
Businesses locating within the Military Zone and creating at least two full-time jobs can take advantage of a tax credit of $3500 per job claimed against their Georgia Income Tax liability. Contact 912-882-8111 for details. Click here for a brochure. Click here for a map the Military Zone.
Enterprise Zone Tax Credit
The City of St. Marys has developed an Enterprise Zone in St. Marys (click here for application). With the development and adoption of the Enterprise Zone businesses can enjoy up to 10 years of the local property tax abatement and abatement or a discount on local fees that the City of St. Marys might charge for the development or opening of a business here in St. Marys. Qualifying businesses must create a minimum of 5 new full-time job equivalent positions. As a result their taxes can be abated 100% for 5 years and then the tax abatement annually would be reduced by 20% until the property owner is paying 100% of their local taxes in year 10. Existing businesses can take advantage of the Enterprise Zone also. Existing businesses would need to create 5 new jobs in addition to their current staff to qualify for benefits recognized through the enterprise zone program. The proposed Enterprise Zone now is currently located just West of Hall Street on Osborne Road up to Borrell Creek and then North up Charlie Smith Sr. Highway, just North of Douglas Drive (See Enterprise Zone Map). The area within the Enterprise Zone meets the three criteria of (1) unemployment, (2) underdevelopment, and (3) pervasive poverty. For more information call 912-882-8111.
Facade Grant Program
Businesses located within the Downtown Development Authority boundaries are eligible to apply for a facade grant. Exterior improvements to buildings can be made with facade grant funds. Eligible improvements include exterior signage and lighting, facade painting, roof and building code repair, landscape improvements, and etc. Architectural design assistance is also available. Click here for an application or contact 912-882-8111 for details.
Redevelopment Powers provide specific powers to enable local governments to embark on projects that will foster public/private partnerships and spur economic growth. Within those powers, Tax Allocation Districts (TADs) are one of those legislative tools available to support cities' community and economic development ventures. TADs are bonds given to finance infrastructure and other redevelopment costs within a specifically defined area (a TAD). The bonds are secured by a "tax allocation increment," which is the increase in property tax revenues resulting from the redevelopment activities taking place within the named district. Tax increment financing allows cities to charge the costs of constructing public facilities and infrastructure to be charged directly to the businesses that use them rather than the public at large. In return, the businesses benefit from the construction of facilities that might not otherwise be available to them.
DCA Downtown Development Revolving Loan (DDRLF)
The purpose of the Downtown Development Revolving Loan Fund (DDRLF) is to assist cities, counties and development authorities in their efforts to revitalize and enhance downtown areas by providing below-market rate financing to fund capital projects in core historic downtown areas and adjacent historic neighborhoods where DD RLF will spur commercial redevelopment.
GA Cities Foundation Revolving Loan Fund (GCFRLF)
Applications are evaluated based on leadership, accountability, long-term sustainability, and potential for private investment. Projects should encourage spin-off development, add jobs, promote downtown housing, or add to the cultural enrichment of the community. Each application must also undergo credit underwriting. Eligible Projects include real estate acquisition, building rehabilitation, new construction, green space and parks. Ineligible uses of funds are operating expenses and administration, local revolving loan funds, public infrastructure projects, streetscapes, and facade projects.
Local Revolving Loan Funds (RLF)
Local Revolving Loan Funds (RLF) are potential sources of funding for new or expanding businesses in select areas throughout Georgia. The goal of each RLF is the creation of job opportunities, primarily for low- and moderate-income persons. Funds for each RLF are capitalized with a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Employment Incentive Program (EIP) grant that is loaned to a private business or a Redevelopment Fund (RDF) loan(s). As loan repayments are made, the RLF is capitalized by the local government that was the recipient of the initial CDBG EIP or RDF award. RLF loan applications are received and reviewed by the local RLF committee and government that operate the RLF.
Equity Fund (One GA)
The purpose of the Equity Fund is to provide a program of financial assistance that includes grants, loans and any other forms of assistance authorized by (O.C.G.A.50-34-1 et seq.) to finance activities that will assist applicants in promoting the health, welfare, safety, and economic security of the citizens of the state through the development and retention of employment opportunities in areas of greater need as defined by the Georgia Business Expansion and Support Act of 1994, as amended (O.C.G.A.48-7-40).
Employment Incentive Program (E.I.P.)
The EIP is a financing program that may be used in conjunction with traditional private financing to carry out economic development projects which will result in employment of low and moderate income persons. Many types of projects can be financed with EIP funding. However, projects creating opportunities for low and moderate income persons to advance themselves by obtaining employment, greater job security, better working conditions, job training, enhancement of workplace skills and advancement opportunities receive the greatest consideration.
Redevelopment projects can be the most challenging economic and community development projects a local government undertakes. The Redevelopment Fund gives local governments access to flexible financial assistance to help them implement projects that cannot be undertaken with the usual public sector grant and loan programs. The Redevelopment Fund finances locally initiated public/private partnerships to leverage investments in commercial, downtown and industrial redevelopment and revitalization projects that wouldn't proceed otherwise.
Community Development Block Grant Loan Guarantee Program (Section 108 Program)
The CDBG Loan Guarantee Program (Section 108 Program) is an economic and community development financing tool authorized under Section 108 of Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended. The program is a method of assisting non-entitlement local governments with certain unique and large-scale economic development projects that cannot proceed without the loan guarantee. In order to be eligible a project must meet all applicable CDBG requirements and result in significant employment and/or benefit for low and moderate income persons. Projects that are eligible for financing under existing federal, state, regional or local programs will generally not be considered for guarantee assistance unless the programs would fail to fully meet a project's need.
State Historic Preservation Tax Incentives
The Georgia State Income Tax Credit Program for Rehabilitated Historic Property allows eligible participants to apply for a state income tax credit equaling 25% of qualifying rehabilitation expenses capped at $100,000 for personal, residential properties, and $300,000 for income-producing properties. The credit is a dollar for dollar reduction in taxes owed to the State of Georgia and is meant to serve as an incentive to those who own historic properties and wish to complete a rehabilitation. The Georgia Preferential Property Tax Assessment Program for Rehabilitated Historic Property allows eligible participants to apply for an 8-year property tax assessment freeze. This incentive program is designed to encourage rehabilitation of both residential and commercial historic buildings by freezing property tax assessments for eight and one-half years.
Federal Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit Program (RITC)
The Federal Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit Program (RITC) provides owners of "certified historic structures" the opportunity to apply for a federal income tax credit equal to 20% of the rehabilitation cost. Only income-producing properties are eligible to participate in the program and the National Park Service must certify the rehabilitation in order to receive the credit.
Foreign Trade Zone (#144) Providing Duty-Free Storage of Inventory
This incentive offers relief from inverted tarrifs, duty exemption on re-exports, and weekly entry savings. Foreign Trade Zones are federally designated sectors of land that while located in the United States are considered to be outside US Customs Territory. Their establishment provides distinctive customs-related avenues and support to US businesses engaged in international trade-related activities.
Single Factor Sales Tax Apportionment
For companies who pay state corporate income tax in Georgia, this apportionment formula treats a company's gross receipts, or sales in Georgia, as the only relevant factor in determining the portion of that company's income subject to the state corporate income tax rate of 6%.
Conduit Issuance of Industrial Revenue Bonds
An organization, usually a government agency, that issues municipal securities to raise capital for revenue-generating projects where funds generated are used by a third party (known as the "conduit borrower") to make payments to investors. This financing is typically backed by either the borrower's credit or funds pledged toward the project by outside investors.