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Taxes & Incentives
Athens-Clarke County is an active and growing environment that is inviting for businesses, industries, and makers of all sizes. The Athens-Clarke County Economic Development Department works closely with the State of Georgia and regional workforce development partners to ensure that all new information and resources in regards to taxes, rebates and incentives are easily available. Our goal is to provide as many applicable tools as possible for our existing industries and new industries so that Athens, Georgia may continue to thrive.
State of Georgia
The State of Georgia’s Economic Development Department has a comprehensive system of tax rebates and incentives to encourage investment and job creation throughout the State of Georgia. Periodically our team, together with a State of Georgia representative, will meet with existing industry members of the Athens business community to discuss these incentives and make sure business are made aware of any and all incentives they are eligible for.
Whether you are a large manufacturer or local maker, the State of Georgia has programs and specialists available both regionally and locally to help your business thrive. Some of the most popular tax credits include:
Job Tax Credit – If you create two or more full time jobs in a single year, you may earn as much as $4,000 (depending on your community) per job for up to five years. (see details below)
Port Tax Credit Bonus – If your facility increases imports and/or exports through a State of Georgia port by at least 10%, your facility may qualify for a $1,250 bonus add to the job tax credit (noted above) or an adjustment to the investment tax credit (below).
Research and Development Tax Credit – Depending on how much your facility spends on research and development, you may qualify for a portion of that spending to be credited to you.
Retraining Tax Credit – Your facility may be able to offset retraining costs associated to new equipment training or new skills training, up to $500 credit per full-time employee or training program.
State and Local Tax Rates
Millage – $33.70
The millage in each county is set annually by the board of county commissioners, or other governing authority of the taxing jurisdiction, and by the Board of Education. A tax rate of one mill represents a tax liability of one dollar per $1,000 of assessed value.
Income Tax Rates
State – 6%
Local – 0%
Corporate Income Tax Rates
State – 6%
Local – 0%
Sales Tax Rates – 8%
State of Georgia Sales Tax – 4%
LOST (Local Optional Sales Tax) – 4%
$4,000 Georgia Job Tax Credit Available for Eligible Athens-Clarke County Businesses
Any lawful business of any nature located within Athens-Clarke County that created at least 2 new net full-time jobs in the past tax year may be eligible for a $4,000 per job tax credit through the Georgia Job Tax Credit Program.
The credit can be taken for five years, beginning with tax year 2020-2021 (when they were created) and for the four immediately succeeding taxable years.
The jobs must be newly created within this 2020-2021 tax year, require a minimum of 35 hours worked/week, offer health insurance upon employment, and pay an average wage of at least $589/week or $30,628/year (as of June 2021).
To claim the credit, complete the IT-CA 2012 Georgia Job Tax Credit Form linked below and attach it to the Georgia Income Tax Return for your business when you submit it to the state.
Please note that Athens-Clarke County is classified as a Tier 1 county ($3,500 tax credit) and participates in a Joint Development Authority (JDA – $500 bonus tax credit), so the available tax credit is $4,000 per eligible job created.
· Link to the IT-CA 2012 Georgia Job Tax Credit Form (on ACCGov website)
· Overview of the Georgia Job Tax Credit Program (on GA Department of Community Affairs website – direct link:https://www.dca.ga.gov/sites/default/files/job_tax_credits_flyer.pdf)
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Gustavo Rodriguez-Zaccaro, SHRM-CPWorkforce Development Coordinator