Existing Industry Director Rachel Rowell said two less developed census tracts have been in place in Bartow County since approximately 2010 or 2011. The designation lasts for one year and then the county must reapply. The 2013 designation expired Dec. 31, but businesses in census tracts 9604 and 9606 still have until Feb. 15 to file for the tax credits.
“The tax credit is set up to where you get $3,500 a job, per job, for each year of five years. So it’s an enormous amount of money. They also have the advantage of, if they cannot use it in five years they can carry it forward for a period of 10 years, so it’s huge,” Rowell said. “This notice of intent that they would be filing allows them to extend this job tax credit for three more years, which, you know, is through … 2016 so that they’re able to take advantage of it. They don’t even have to create the jobs, they just have to file the intent that they may create the jobs in the next three years to be able to take advantage of it.”
When Mohawk and Trinity Rail shut down their operations a number of years ago, said Cartersville-Bartow County Economic Development Executive Director Melinda Lemmon, the state established two LDCTs within Cartersville that also extend into Bartow County. The tracts, Lemmon said, are designed to help combat job losses in the area when a business shuts down.
“[It’s] the area around Trinity Rail and Mohawk Industries. When they shut down it created such a high percentage of unemployment that it made the community eligible for the tracts,” she said.
Census tract 9604 covers a large portion of Cartersville and Bartow County north of U.S. Highway 41 and Center Road, with its northernmost boundary being Cass-White Road. To the east it stops at Rowland Springs Road and to the west it runs along Old Cass-White Road, Fire Tower Road and Hamilton Crossing Road.
Census tract 9606 covers the southwest side of Cartersville, from Sugar Valley Road in the north, along the railroad tracks and Ga. Highway 293 before stopping at the Etowah River. To the west it stops at Ladds Mountain Road and Burnt Hickory Road.
Any manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, processing, telecommunications, broadcasting, research and development or tourism business is eligible for the tax credit. Retailers are not eligible, according to information from the Georgia Department of Community affairs.
Rowell believed the tax credits have helped local existing businesses, though she said it was difficult to quantify the results.
“I believe that it has helped those companies to grow in times where it’d be a little tougher to grow because they’d been given that advantage. I know Wansley Park is a lot more at capacity than it was before, but it’s difficult to tell whether or not they’ve actually grown companies, but attracted new ones. It has helped our existing ones grow,” she said.
For more information on the LDCT tax credit, contact the economic development department at 770-382-1466 or visit www.locationofchoice.com. Notice of intent forms are available on the Georgia Department of Community Affairs website, www.dca.state.ga.us.