STATUTORY STATE OF GEORGIA INCENTIVES
JOB CREATION TAX CREDITS
Corporate income tax credits for new and expanding industries are available for companies that create qualifying new jobs under guidelines of Georgia’s Business Expansion and Support Act (BEST) legislation. To determine applicable tax credit levels, Georgia’s 159 counties are divided into four levels or “tiers” based on the relative economic strength of the county, with Tier 1 counties being the most economically disadvantaged and proceeding through Tier 4 counties which are the least economically disadvantaged. Job creation or investment thresholds are set for each tier, with a per job tax credit amount established per tier. Permanent job creation levels are established in year one of a business’s operation, and the credits are allowed for new full-time employee jobs for five years in years two through six after the creation of the jobs. In Greene County, a Tier 3 county, the per job tax credit is $1,250 per job, per year; however, since Greene County participates in a multi-county joint development authority, the amount of the credit increases by $500 per job per year for a total credit of $1,750 for businesses locating or expanding in Greene County. The minimum number of jobs to qualify is 15.
The total credit amount may offset up to 50% 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.
Companies that create five or more jobs in a Opportunity Zone (OZ) offer job tax credits to business of any nature, including retail businesses that create at least two new jobs. The credit value for locating within one of the Opportunity Zones in Greene County is a total for $3,500 per job, per year for five years. This credit is not in addition to the Job Tax Credit mentioned above. Credits may be taken against 50 percent of state corporate income tax liability. Credits that are claimed but not used in any taxable year may be carried forward for 10 years from the close of the taxable year in which qualified jobs were established.
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 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 of $1,250 per job or investment tax credits. NOTE: Base year port trac must be at least 75 net tons, ve containers, or 10 TEU’s. If not, the percentage increase in port trac will be calculated using 75 net tons, ve containers, or 10 TEU’s as the base.
NEW QUALITY JOBS TAX CREDIT
In 2009 the Georgia Legislature passed a law amending Georgia’s former Headquarters Tax Credit program. In its place it created the new Quality Jobs Tax Credit offering higher incentives for higher paying jobs. Jobs must be created on or after January 1, 2009 to be eligible. In order to qualify for any level of the Quality Jobs Tax Credit, a company must create at least 50 eligible new full-time jobs in a 12-month period and ALL JOBS must meet the 110 percent minimum wage requirement. For 2013, the average wage for Greene County Development Authority was $700 per week.
Qualifying Level Credit Earned
110 percent of county average wages $2,500 per person tax credit
120 percent of county average wages $3,000 per person tax credit
150 percent of county average wages $4,000 per person tax credit
175 percent of county average wages $4,500 per person tax credit
200 percent of county average wages $5,000 per person tax credit
Once all earned credit has been applied against a company’s Georgia corporate income tax liability, excess credit may be monetized against employee withholding taxes. This credit is administered by the Department of Revenue.
SALES AND USE TAX EXEMPTIONS
- Georgia provides several exemptions for its sales and use tax on corporations, including: Purchases intended for resale
- Machinery used directly in the manufacturing or production process (such machinery purchase must be made by a Georgia company, after ling a sales tax exemption application; the machinery maker does not need to be a Georgia company).
- Manufacturing machinery replacement parts, costing up to $150,000 per part. Primary material handling equipment is exempted from sales tax if a company invests $5 million or more in a new or expanded facility; equipment covered is:
- The principal machinery and equipment used to lift or move tangible personal property in a warehouse or distribution facility located in this State.
- The computer software and hardware whose purpose is to lift or move tangible personal property qualifies for the exemption.
- A racking system defined as any system of machinery equipment, fixtures or portable devices whose function is to store, organize, move tangible personal property within a warehouse or distribution facility, including, but not limited to, converting systems, chutes, shelves, racks, bins, drawers, pallets, and other containers and storage devices which form a necessary part of the facility’s storage system.
- Sale of fuel and supplies for use or consumption on board ships plying the high seas in foreign or interstate commerce.
- Property manufactured for export when delivery is taken outside of Georgia.
- Transportation equipment manufactured for exclusive use outside the state. Items used in packaging.
- Air/water pollution machinery and equipment.
- Computer equipment purchased by high-technology companies (or companies operating high-technology facilities such as data centers) that purchase or lease in excess of $15 million in such equipment in one calendar year. This does not include data cabling and other infrastructure, or soft costs.
- 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.
CUSTOMIZED JOB TRAINING
Georgia Quick Start develops and delivers customized training at no charge to eligible new, expanding and existing companies as a job creation and retention incentive. Quick Start is recognized by leading companies from around the world for the high quality of its training services and the results produced for each company’s Georgia operations. Administered by Georgia’s Department of Technical and Adult Education, Quick Start services include a comprehensive needs analysis, program design, customized training material development, and instruction. The heart of Quick Start’s service is job-specific training customized to each company’s processes, equipment, procedures and standards. Quick Start enhances this with training in safety, automation, quality systems, productivity improvement, employee involvement, instructor skills, and leadership. Examples include Lean Manufacturing, Statistical Process Control, Programmable Logic Controllers, Customer Service, Computer Skills, and Team Skills Training. In addition to manufacturing operations, Quick Start provides comprehensive training for distribution centers, and service operations such as corporate headquarters, billing and remittance centers, and technical support centers. Quick Start’s performance-based training equips employees with the technical and interpersonal skills that companies need to achieve their quality and productivity goals in the shortest possible time.