Job creation incentive extended for Bartow communities
by Matt Shinall
Apr 20, 2013 | 1861 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At the close of 2012, two Bartow County districts defined by the U.S. Census lost a designation allowing for increased job tax credits for qualifying businesses. All of that changed, however, with a letter of approval from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

An extension has been granted for the census tracts still affected by the loss of major employers Mohawk Industries and Trinity North American Rail Car. The Less Developed Census Tract designation, now available to employers through the 2013 tax year, adds incentive for businesses to create jobs.

Defined business enterprises in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, processing, telecommunications, broadcasting, research and development, or tourism physically located within the 9604-01, 9604-02 and 9606 census tracts are eligible for a $3,500 job tax credit against up to 100 percent of state tax liability and payroll withholding for five years for the creation of five net new jobs.

The original LDCT designations were granted due to the loss of 229 jobs from Mohawk’s spun yarn facility in Cartersville and 659 jobs from Trinity Rail Yard near Cassville.

“Basically, the number of dislocated workers was a certain percentage of the workforce in that census tract,” said Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development Executive Director Melinda Lemmon. “The goal is to encourage job creation in areas of economic distress.

“In this case, the extension was a joint request from County Commissioner Steve Taylor and Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini.”

Extension approval was made by the DCA board of directors in their April meeting and formally announced by letter to local officials this week. Lemmon and Existing Industry Director Rachel Rowell have made themselves available for consultation with industry representatives and project managers interested in taking advantage of the LDCT designation.

“It’s an extraordinary opportunity,” Lemmon said. “One that we may only have until the end of the year. So the companies that are in these census tracts should really take a look at it and decide if it’s a strategic opportunity for them.

“Normally, a Bartow County business would have to create 15 jobs and they would only get $1,750 in job tax credits per job for each of five years. With the Less Developed Census Tract, they get $3,500 and that’s a big difference. There’s also a difference in how they can use those credits. Anywhere in Bartow, normally what would be received is credits could be used against 50 percent of a company’s state income tax liability. Within these Less Developed Census Tract areas, they can use it against 100 percent of state income tax liability and payroll withholding tax.”

Santini emphasized the designation extension as another tool in economic development efforts to bring jobs to the area and promote a business-friendly environment.

“The importance of having that [designation] is that it gives additional incentives to companies that might be interested in locating in that area,” Santini said. “There are job tax credits available and other items that would make that area more attractive to a company that is looking to locate here or a company looking elsewhere that may see this area as financially beneficial. So if there is a company that wants to bring quality jobs to the area and locate there, we’d be happy to have them.

“What we’re trying to do is create an atmosphere that is conducive to business and industry. Unfortunately there is an area that is less developed, which means there are empty buildings, but the fact that we’re being aggressive in doing all we can to make those areas viable and incentivized so that they won’t be empty is the whole point.”

For more information, call the Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development at 770-382-1466.