Georgia designates four cities as Rural Zones

ATLANTA (November 9, 2023) – The cities of Blakely, Sylvania, Vidalia, and Watkinsville are Georgia’s newly designated Rural Zones, joining 43 other municipalities across the state.

This designation allows projects within the designated Rural Zones to utilize three state income tax incentives – the Job Tax Credit, Investment Credit, and Rehabilitation Credit – for job-creation activities, investment in downtown properties, and renovation of properties.

The Job Tax Credit is equivalent to $2,000 annually for each new full-time equivalent job for up to five years. The Investment Credit is equivalent to 25% of the purchase price of a property within the designated Rural Zone (not to exceed $125,000). The Rehabilitation Credit is equivalent to 30% of the qualified rehabilitation costs of a building located within a designated Rural Zone (not to exceed $150,000).

Credits can be layered, but none are available without the job creation element being present.

Activity eligibility to earn these tax credits begins Jan. 1, 2024, in each of the new Rural Zones. Communities are encouraged to develop strategies and share information about the benefits to businesses and investors.

Rural Zone applications and designations are annual. The program is a collaboration between the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Each designation lasts for five years.

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