Incentives

LOCAL INCENTIVES

The Worth County Economic Development Authority negotiates local incentive packages based on the parameters of the particular project and its overall attractiveness. Local incentives are determined by the number of jobs being created, the quality of those jobs, amount of private investment, the time to complete the project, and the overall creditworthiness of the prospect.

STATE INCENTIVES

GEORGIA INCOME TAX CREDIT – B.E.S.T. JOB TAX CREDIT
Provides firms locating inside Worth County a job tax credit for any business or headquarters of any such business engaged in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, processing, telecommunications, tourism, or research and development industries, but does not include retail businesses.
Counties and certain census tracts in the state are ranked and placed in economic tiers by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs each year using the following factors:

1. Highest unemployment rate;
2. Lowest per capita income; and
3. Highest percentage of residents whose incomes are below the poverty level.
*Worth County is a Tier 2 county.
Minimum New Credit Amount per
Tier County Rankings Jobs Creation Eligible New Job
2 72 Through 106 10 $2,500

The credit amount listed above are applicable to new jobs created on or after January 1, 2001.
Note that average wages for the new jobs must be above the average wage of the county that has the lowest average wage of any county in the state. Also note that employers must make health insurance available to employees filling the new full-time jobs. Employers are not, however, required to pay all or part of the cost of such insurance unless this benefit is provided to existing employees.

Credits are allowed for new full-time employee jobs for five years in years two through six after the creation of the jobs. In Tier 2 counties, the total credit amount may offset up to 100% of a taxpayer’’s state income tax liability for a taxable year.

A credit claimed but not used in any taxable year may be carried forward for 10 years from the close of the taxable year in which the qualified jobs were established. The measurement of new full-time jobs and maintained jobs is based on average monthly employment. Georgia counties are re-ranked annually based on updated statistics.
Example: If a manufacturing firm locates in Worth County with the minimum 10 jobs required, the firm would receive tax credits worth (10 jobs X $2,500 per job X 5 years =) $125,000 to count against their state income tax liabilities for 10 years.

GEORGIA HEART PROGRAM – RURAL HOSPITAL DONATION TAX CREDIT

Beginning on January 1, 2017, individuals and corporations will be able to contribute to their favorite rural hospital organizations and receive a Georgia state income tax credit for doing so. More information available at http://www.georgiaheart.org/

JOB TAX CREDIT FOR JOINT DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITIES

Provides for an additional $500 job tax credit per job for a business locating within the
jurisdiction of a joint authority established by two or more contiguous counties.
Worth County is a member of the Tift, Turner, Worth and Cook Counties Joint Development Authority.
Example: If a manufacturing firm locates in Worth County with 10 jobs, the firm would receive tax credits worth (10 jobs X $2,500 per job (Job Tax Credit listed above) + $500 per job (Joint Development Authority Tax Credit) X 5 years =) $150,000 to count against their state income tax liabilities for 10 years.

INVESTMENT TAX CREDIT

Investment tax credits are based on the same tiers as the Job Tax Credit program. They allow a taxpayer that has operated an existing manufacturing or telecommunications facility, or a manufacturing or telecommunications support facility, in the state for the previous three years (36 months) to obtain a credit against income tax liability.

• Companies expanding in Tier 2 counties must invest $50,000 to receive a 3% tax credit. That credit increases to 5% for recycling, pollution control, and defense conversion activities.

Generally, a taxpayer may not take both the job tax credit and the investment tax credit for the same project.

OPTIONAL INVESTMENT TAX CREDIT

Taxpayers qualifying for the investment tax credit may choose an optional investment tax credit with the following threshold criteria:

Designated Area Minimum Investment % Tax Credit
Tier 2
$10 Million
8%

The credit may be claimed for 10 years, provided the qualifying property remains in service throughout that period. A taxpayer must choose either the regular or optional investment tax credit. Once this election is made, it is irrevocable.

The optional investment tax credit is calculated based upon a three-year tax liability average. The annual credits are then determined using this base year average. The credit available to the taxpayer in any given year is the lesser of the following amounts:

1. 90% of the increase in tax liability in the current taxable year over that in the base year, or
2. The excess of the aggregate amount of the credit allowed over the sum of the amounts of credit already used in the years following the base year.

Generally, a taxpayer may not take both the job tax credit and the optional investment tax credit for the same project.

TRAINING and EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT– QUICKSTART

Quick Start is the State of Georgia’s internationally known training program for new and expanding businesses and industries. Administered by the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education, it is one of the state’s primary incentives for the recruitment of new jobs into Georgia. Unlike many states which only provide training grants, Quick Start directly provides a full range of high quality customized training services at no cost to client companies. Go to www.georgiaquickstart.org Local colleges in our area providing Quick Start training include Albany Technical College, and Moultrie Technical College. Quick Start training can be offered right here in Worth County for new businesses. Contact the Worth County Economic Development Authority for more information.

RETRAINING TAX CREDIT

The retraining tax credit allows some employers to claim certain costs of retraining employees to use new equipment, new technology, or new operating systems. The credit can be worth 50% of the direct costs of retraining full-time employees up to $500 per employee per approved retraining program per year. The credit cannot be more than 50% of the taxpayer’s total state income tax liability for a tax year. Credits claimed but not used may be carried forward for 10 years.

CHILD CARE CREDITS

Employers who provide or sponsor child care for employees are eligible for a tax credit of up to 75% of the employers’ direct costs. The credit cannot be applied against more than 50% of the taxpayer’s total state income tax liability for that taxable year. Any credit claimed but not used in any taxable year may be carried forward for five years from the close of the taxable year in which the cost of the operation was incurred. In addition, employers who purchase qualified child care property will receive a credit totaling 100% of the cost of such property. The credit is claimed at the rate of 10% a year for 10 years. The qualified property credit may be carried forward for three years from the close of the taxable year in which the qualified property is placed in service, and the limitation on the use of the credit in any one year is 50% of the taxpayer’s total state income tax liability. Recapture provisions apply if the property is transferred or committed to a use other
than child care within 14 years after the property is placed in service. These two childcare credits can be combined.

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT TAX CREDIT

A tax credit is allowed for research expenses for research conducted within Georgia for any business or headquarters of any such business engaged in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, processing, telecommunications, tourism, or research and development industries. The credit is calculated at 10% of the additional research expense over the “base amount,” provided that the business enterprise for the same taxable year claims and is allowed a research credit under Section 41 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The credit may be carried forward 10 years but may not exceed 50% of the business’s remaining Georgia net income tax liability after all other credits have been applied for the current year. (Note that the base amount must contain positive Georgia taxable net income for all years.)

SMALL BUSINESS GROWTH COMPANIES TAX CREDIT

A tax credit is granted for any business or the headquarters of any such business engaged in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, processing, telecommunications, tourism, or research and development industries having a Georgia net taxable income in the current year which is 20% or more above that of the preceding year if its net taxable income in each of the two preceding years was also 20% or more. The credit shall be the excess over 20% of the percentage growth and shall not exceed 50% of the business’s remaining Georgia net income tax liability after all other credits have been applied for the current year. The credit is available to companies whose total tax liability does not exceed $1.5 million. Please note that this credit is repealed effective January 1, 2006.

PORTS ACTIVITY JOB TAX & INVESTMENT TAX CREDITS

Businesses or the headquarters of any such businesses which meet the eligibility requirements for the job tax credit or the investment tax credit and that have increased their port traffic tonnage through Georgia ports during the previous 12-month period by more than 10% over their 1997 base year port traffic, or by more than 10% over 75 net tons, five containers or 10 20-foot equivalent units (TEU’s) during the previous 12-month period, qualify for increased job tax credits or investment tax credits. NOTE: Base year port traffic must be at least 75 net tons, five containers, or 10 TEU’s. If not, the percentage increase in port traffic will be calculated using 75 net tons, five containers, or 10 TEU’s as the base. Companies must meet Business Expansion and Support Act (BEST) criteria for the county in which they are located.

The job tax and investment tax credits are as follows:

Investment Optional Investment
Job Tax Credit Tax Credit Tax Credit
Tier 2 Additional $1,250 5% 10%

Please note that the Job Tax Credit amount shown above is in addition to the credit allowed under O.C.G.A. §§ 48-7-40 and 40.1. The amounts shown above for the Investment Tax Credits are in lieu of the amounts allowed under O.C.G.A. §§ 48-7-40.2, 40.3, 40.4, 40.7, 40.8, and 40.9.

The additional job tax credit is limited to 50 percent of the taxpayer’s Georgia net income tax liability in the current year regardless of the tier in which the jobs are located. The investment tax credit taken under the port traffic provision is limited to 50 percent of the taxpayer’s net income tax liability. Any unused job or investment tax credit may be carried forward for ten years from the close of the taxable year in which the qualified jobs were established or the qualified property was placed in service. The optional investment tax credit taken under the port traffic provision shall be claimed for up to ten taxable years, provided the qualifying property remains in service throughout that period.

Companies that create 400 or more new jobs, invest $20 million or more in new and expanded facilities, and increase their port traffic by more than 20% above their base year port traffic may take both job tax credits and investment tax credits.

HEADQUARTERS TAX CREDIT

Companies establishing their headquarters or relocating their headquarters to Georgia may be entitled to a tax credit if the following criteria are met: 1) headquarters is defined as the principal central administrative offices of a company; 2) new jobs created at a new headquarters must be full-time (as defined by law and regulation) and must pay at least 105% of the average wage for Tier 2 counties; 3) within one year, a company must invest $1 million and create 50 jobs at a new headquarters facility; and 4) the company must elect not to take the job or investment tax credits. The credit is equal to $2,500 annually per new full-time job or $5,000 if the average wage of the new full-time jobs is 200% or more of the average wage of the county in which the new jobs are located. The credits apply for five years beginning with the year in which jobs are placed in service. The credit may be taken against Georgia income tax liability with any excess credit applied against a company’s withholding taxes. Credits may be carried forward for 10 years. Other requirements include: 1) no new full-time jobs created after seven years from the close of the taxable year in which the taxpayer first becomes eligible for the credit may receive credits; and 2) the number of new full-time jobs shall be determined by comparing the monthly average of full-time jobs subject to Georgia income tax withholding for the taxable year with the corresponding average for the prior taxable year.

SALES AND USE TAX EXEMPTIONS — MANUFACTURING MACHINERY

Provides for an exemption from the sales and use tax for:

1. Machinery used directly in the manufacture of tangible personal property when the machinery is bought to replace or upgrade machinery in an existing manufacturing plant presently operating within the state and machinery components which are purchased to upgrade machinery used directly in the manufacture of tangible personal property in a manufacturing plant;
2. Machinery used directly in the manufacture of tangible personal property when the machinery is incorporated as additional machinery for the first time into an existing manufacturing plant in this state;
3. Machinery used directly in the manufacture of tangible personal property when the machinery is incorporated for the first time into a new manufacturing plant located in this state;
4. Machinery used directly in the remanufacture of aircraft engines, parts, and components on a factory basis;
5. The sale or use of repair or replacement parts, machinery clothing or replacement machinery clothing, molds or replacement molds, dies or replacement dies, and tooling or replacement tooling for machinery used directly in the manufacture of tangible personal property in a manufacturing plant presently existing in this state. This exemption has been phased in over a 5 year period beginning on January 2001 at 20% of the purchase price per year with a limitation of $150,000 per part;
6. Overhead materials consumed in the performance of certain contracts between the Department of Defense or NASA and a contractor engaged in manufacturing (this exemption has been phased in at a 25% increment rate each year from January 1, 1997 to January 1, 2004); and
7. The sale of machinery, equipment, and materials incorporated into and used in the construction or operation of a clean room of Class 100 or less in Georgia, provided that such clean room is used directly in the manufacture of tangible personal property.

SALES AND USE TAX EXEMPTIONS: COMPUTER SALES AND USE TAX EXEMPTION

The sale or lease of computer equipment to be used at a facility or facilities in this state to any high-technology company classified under certain NAICS Codes where such sale of computer equipment exceeds $15 million for any calendar year, or, where in the event of a lease of such computer equipment, the fair market value of such leased computer equipment exceeds $15 million for any calendar year.

SALES AND USE TAX EXEMPTIONS: PRIMARY MATERIALS HANDLING SALES AND USE TAX EXEMPTION

Purchases of primary material handling equipment and racking systems which are used directly for the storage, handling, and moving of tangible personal property in a new or expanding warehouse or distribution facility, when such new facility or expansion is valued at $5 million or more and does not have greater than 15% retail sales, are exempt from sales and use taxes.

SALES AND USE TAX EXEMPTIONS: ELECTRICITY SALES AND USE TAX EXEMPTION

Electricity purchased that interacts directly with a product being manufactured is exempt from sales taxes when the total cost of the electricity exceeds 50% of the cost of all materials used, including electricity, in making the product. This exemption requires a utility study to document the conditions of the exemption.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AND GRANTS

There are many methods of financial assistance and grants that you may be eligible for. We recommend that you download the Department of Community Affair’s Economic Development Financing Packet for information on the many opportunities available for you. [Download Adobe Acrobat to read this file.] Outlined below are many of our most aggressive programs for helping your business expand and grow in Georgia.

ONE GEORGIA AUTHORITY – OVERVIEW

The One Georgia Authority was created to utilize one-third of the state’s tobacco settlement to assist the state’s most economically challenged areas with $1.6 billion anticipated over the 25-year term of the settlement. One Georgia investments are targeted towards Tier 1 and 2 counties. If your business is eligible, you must work with us or our joint development authority because eligible applicants are cities, counties, government authorities and joint or multi-county development authorities. Eligible projects include water and sewer projects, road, rail and airport improvements, industrial parks, work force development projects, technology development or tourism development proposals to name a few. Special consideration is given to projects of regional significance.

ONE GEORGIA AUTHORITY – EQUITY FUND

Code 50-34-1 and 48-7-40 specify the specifics of the One Georgia Equity Fund program which provides financial assistance including grants, loans, and other forms of assistance that will develop and retain employment opportunities in areas of greater need. [Application and Award Information]

ONE GEORGIA AUTHORITY – EDGE FUND

The purpose of the Edge Fund is to provide financial assistance to eligible applicants that are being considered as a relocation or expansion site and are competing with another state for location of the project. The project must develop and/or retain employment opportunities in the area. [Application and Award information]

REVOLVING LOAN FUNDS/MICRO LOANS

The Worth County EDA works closely with the Southwest Georgia RDC, City of Sylvester, and the Worth County Board of Commissioners. All three of these entities maintain Revolving Loan Funds for start-up and growing businesses of all sizes. The RDC also has a Micro Loan program for businesses looking for funds less than $20,000.
The RDC and the Small Business Development Center can assist you in putting together your business plan and applications for the funds from these organizations.

EMPLOYMENT INCENTIVE PROGRAM (EIP)

The EIP is a financing program that may be used in conjunction with traditional private financing which will result in employment of low and moderate income persons. Eligible uses include public water and sewer systems, distribution and/or collection lines, wastewater treatment projects, rail spurs and various other types of public facilities. Additionally financing for fixed assets including: land, new facilities, rehabilitation of existing facilities, machinery, equipment, etc. Contact us and review the detail on the DCA EIP Web Page.
For further information on job tax credits you can contact the Worth County Economic Development Authority or contact:

Dawn Sturbaum
(404) 679-1585
dsturbau@dca.state.ga.us
Russell Morrison
(404) 679-4825
rmorriso@dca.state.ga.us
Georgia Department of Community Affairs
60 Executive Park South, N. E.
Atlanta, GA 30329-2231

For further information on retraining tax credits you can contact the Worth County Economic Development Authority or contact:

Mike Grundmann, Marketing Director
(404) 253-2822
mgrundmann@georgiaquickstart.org
Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education
75 Fifth Street, N.W.
Suite 400
Atlanta, GA 30308

For further information on income tax credits you can contact the Worth County Economic Development Authority or contact:

Marina Malan
(404) 417-2441
marina.malan@dor.ga.gov
Georgia Department of Revenue
1800 Century Boulevard, Room 15311
Atlanta, Georgia 30345-3205

For further information on sales and use tax exemptions you can contact the Worth County Economic Development Authority or contact:

Jon Galbraith
(404) 417-6628
jon.galbraith@dor.ga.gov
Larry Cohrs
(404) 417-6656
larry.cohrs@dor.ga.gov

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