A seminar held Wednesday explained much of the state’s most popular tax incentives. Among the most common is the job tax credit, which varies in amount and qualification requirements by county.
This year, Bartow County is losing designations for two Less Developed Census Tracts and is returning to Tier 3 status for job tax credits, but just less than one month remains for qualifying businesses to retain the higher job tax credits available from the Tier 2 status and LDCT designation.
“Bartow County has been historically a Tier 3 community up until last year and then changed from Tier 3 to Tier 2,” said Northwest Georgia Project Manager Carl Campbell with the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “This year, the ranking has gone back to a Tier 3, so those tax dollars are going to go down again. So there are steps we want to take to take advantage of those job tax credits so you can continue to get as much benefit out of that again
“So what do you need to do to lock in savings? There is a file called a Notice of Intent you can fill out and send to the Department of Community Affairs. It has to be in by Feb. 15. If you fill out that form, send that in to the Department of Community Affairs, you can lock in the Tier 2 tax credit levels for three years. So you can continue to get job tax credits at the $3,000 amount.”
There are four tiers within the state designation system for job tax credits with Tier 4 being the wealthiest counties in the state and Tier 1 being the poorest counties in the state. The tier designations are reviewed regularly and altered based on unemployment rate, median household income and poverty density rate.
While the tier status change for Bartow signals improving economic factors, eligible employers who use to qualify for $3,000 of job tax credit against 100 percent of tax liability for the creation of 10 new jobs, will now receive only $1,750 against 50 percent of tax liability for creating 15 new jobs.
To qualify for job tax credits, businesses must fall within designated enterprises, which include manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, research and development, telecommunications, data processing and tourism.
“The situation has gotten a little tougher, tax credits have gotten a little less valuable, but they are still there for you. However, there is a way that you can hang on to the value that you have,” Campbell said. “Even if you’re not planning an expansion, we recommend you fill out that NOI, whether you plan to add jobs or not because they’re not going to hold you to that number. All of this is about increasing employment and making this community a more successful and prosperous community. So if you guys will fill out the NOI form and turn it into the DCA by Feb. 15, you can keep those job tax credits for three more years.”
Campbell also touched on other popular incentives, including the Georgia Ports Bonus and the Investment Bonus. Also on Wednesday’s agenda was information on the sales use tax exemption on energy used in manufacturing. The percentage of eligible amount exempted will increase each January by 25 percent reaching 100 percent in January 2016. Concurrently, local energy sales tax rates will increase to recoup county-level losses. The local increase, however, will be smaller than the amount exempted by the state making the final rate in 2016 3 percent as opposed to the previous rate of 7 percent. Additionally, the county has pledged to eliminate the local sales tax collected in energy used in manufacturing as soon as it becomes financially feasible.
A form also must be filled out and submitted to an energy provider for inclusion in the energy tax exemption. The necessary paperwork is available from the Georgia Department of Revenue online at www.etax.dor.ga.gov.
For information on job tax credits and the filing of a NOI, contact the Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development at 770-382-1466.