In recent years, Bartow entered a higher bracket of incentives for employers, primarly in manufacturing, due to economic distress. Automatic evaluations, however, mean that for 2013, Bartow will enter the Tier 3 job tax credit designation.
To keep employers and professional service providers abreast of the changes, the Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development will host a seminar Wednesday, Jan. 16 with presentations from the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
“There have been some significant changes in Bartow County that could impact our businesses, so we want to do what we can as a department of economic development to make sure that the companies are aware of the changes,” said Melinda Lemmon, executive director of the Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development. “It’s important for anyone who wants to hear about the changes, but particularly businesses engaged in manufacturing, warehouses and distribution, processing, telecommunications, broadcasting, tourism, or research and development that create or maintain a significant number of new full-time jobs.
“I would also encourage local real estate brokers, accountants or other interested parties that serve these industries to come and participate in this seminar as well.”
While incentives have changed, some employers may be able to lock in Tier 2 rates by filing a Notice of Intent before the Feb. 15, deadline.
Bartow County’s Tier 2 job tax credit designation had allowed employers adding 10 net new jobs to qualify for $3,000 worth of tax credit on 100 percent of tax liability. Now, as a Tier 3 county, eligible employers creating 15 net new jobs may qualify for $1,750 of credit toward 50 percent of tax liability. Both numbers include $500 of credit available due to the existence of a joint development authority.
“It’s kind of a good-news/bad-news thing. The rankings happen because of primarily three economic indicators and they are high unemployment, lower per capita income and a high percentage of residents whose income is below the poverty level. So the good news is, if we rank higher in the tier status that means those economic indicators are improving, which is our goal,” Lemmon said. “The purpose of the seminar is for officials from the state to describe to participants the changes in Bartow County’s eligibility for job tax credits and the importance of eligible companies filing a notice of intent with the Department of Community Affairs prior to Feb. 15, 2013. Companies that file that NOI are protected from reductions in benefits due to reranking for the next three years.
“But we can make this a win/win if we can improve economic indicators and the companies who are planning on creating jobs in the future still get the benefit of the lower tier level. With this Notice of Intent, they could be locked into those more-generous benefits a little bit longer.”
Also affected by the re-evaluation are businesses within the two Less-Developed Census Tracts, which had previously allowed eligible employers creating five net new jobs to apply $3,500 of tax credit per job toward 100 percent of tax liability and payroll withholding tax. With current economic conditions, neither LDCT previously recognized within Bartow are eligible for designation.
The Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development Job Tax Credit Seminar will take place Wednesday, Jan. 16, from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce, 122 W. Main St. The job tax credit seminar is free, but participants are asked to RSVP by calling the chamber at 770-382-1466.