These credits are designed to encourage job growth and revitalize economically distressed areas. The application process, pursued by the county and city with help from the Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development, included a lengthy description of qualifiers including recorded job losses.
Through the county-wide designation as well as specific areas deemed as Opportunity Zones and Less Developed Census Tracts, business owners have multiple opportunities to share in the savings. A free informational seminar will be held Tuesday, March 29 at 8 a.m., by the Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development at the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce.
"We want to make sure that all the eligible Bartow County companies are aware of the job tax credit program and what that means to them," Melinda Lemmon said, executive director of the Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development. "If they save money, then they can, in theory, reinvest that into their business and it continues to make them stronger therefore making our community's economy stronger."
Presenters will educate those in attendance on the program and eligibility requirements as well as how to apply. Patrick Vickers, Georgia Department of Community Affairs economic development field services representative, will co-host the seminar with CPA Mark Fishman of Cain and David Accountants and Consultants in Marietta.
"These two were very gracious in donating their time for two previous job tax credit seminars back in November and December last year but we wanted to repeat the message to make sure that these companies knew about the tax credits and the levels they may be eligible for. So, this is a bit of a repeat message but they were so warmly received and it's such important information that we are doing this again," Lemmon said.
To qualify for many of the credits, employers must lie within specific physical boundaries while other requirements designate specific industries. Known as defined business enterprises, those industries are manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, processing, telecommunications, broadcasting, research and development, tourism and services for the elderly and persons with disabilities.
"The Bartow County companies that fit into those categories that created 15 or more jobs, I think we can save them some money and I would like to have a chance to explore that with them. At the very least, they learn about a program for an hour or hour and a half that may fit into their business strategy. At the most, we may be able to save them some money," Lemmon said.
As a tier three community, qualifying Bartow County businesses must create 15 new jobs for credit eligibility. The county-wide incentive is $1,250 plus $500 for participating joint development authority members against 50 percent of income tax liability.
"If some of these businesses are in certain areas such as a Less Developed Census Tract or an Opportunity Zone, that story gets even better -- they can save even more money and use the credits for some additional things," Lemmon said.
Those companies within Less Developed Census Tracts only have to create five new jobs to qualify for a larger tax credit of $3,500 per new job applicable for 100 percent tax liability plus payroll withholding tax.
"In the Less Developed Census Tract, a defined business enterprise has to create at least five net new jobs, those new jobs that are created are eligible for $3,500 per eligible new job and that $3,500 tax credit is applicable to 100 percent of income tax liability and once the tax liability is absorbed, it would then roll over and apply to the employee withholding. So it's literally money in the company's pocket," Vickers said.
With two Cartersville Opportunity Zones being approved in January, companies in these areas have an opportunity to qualify for the state's maximum credit with the creation of just two jobs. The designation enabling a $3,500 tax credit on 100 percent of income liability tax and payroll withholding tax is valid for 10 years. As long as both jobs are created in the same year and new hires are not married, companies in any industry are eligible.
"Any lawful business is eligible for an opportunity zone tax credit as opposed to the defined business enterprises," Vickers said. "In an opportunity zone, a company has to create two net new jobs to qualify for the tax credit. The only restriction being those jobs can't be held by husband and wife."
For more information call Rachel Rowell with the Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development at 770-382-1466.