Freeport Tax Exemption

The governing authority of any county or municipality may elect, with the approval of the voters, to exempt certain goods typically stored in distribution warehouses from payment of personal property tax. Voters in Stephens County and the City of Toccoa approved freeport tax exemptions and these incentives are available to prospective manufacturers.

Application for freeport exemption should be made with the Board of Tax Assessor's within the same time period that returns are due in the county. Property tax returns are required to be filed by April 1.  After these dates freeport applications can be filed until June 1, but with a partial exemption.


Voters have elected to exempt the following types of commercial and industrial inventory:

  • Class 1 -- Raw materials and goods in process of manufacture -- 100% exemption
  • Class 2 -- Finished goods produced in Georgia within the last 12 months -- 100% exemption
  • Class 3 -- Finished goods stored in Georgia within the last 12 months and destined for shipment out-of-state -- 100% exemption

Inventory of goods in the process of being manufactured or produced including raw materials and partly finished goods.

Example - sheet metal before it is formed into an auto part

Inventory of finished goods manufactured or produced within this State held by the manufacturer or producer for a period not to exceed 12 months.

Example - once the auto part is manufactured in Georgia it can stay in state exempt from taxes for 12 months

Inventory of finished goods on January 1 that are stored in a warehouse, dock or wharf which are destined for shipment outside this State for a period not to exceed 12 months.

Example – If an auto part is manufactured in Tennessee and is shipped into a distribution center in Georgia where it is being stored on January 1. It can stay in Georgia tax free if it is being distributed to a store in Florida within the next 12 months.


The SCDA is responsible for the recruitment of new businesses including industrial, manufacturing, distribution, corporate and regional headquarters and customer service centers. It also provides support and assistance with all other types of economic development projects.

The SCDA also works with existing businesses and industries to ensure their continued success. While recruitment of new industry is a significant function, aiding in existing industry expansion and retention is just as significant. About 80 percent of all new jobs in Georgia come as a result of existing industry expansion.

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A couple of years ago, the Stephens County Development Authority informed us that we were located in an Opportunity Zone which qualified us for tax credits that were applied to our GA payroll taxes for adding new employees. We were able to realize these savings. We are thankful to our local development authority for making sure that we were taking advantage of all the tax credits available to us. -
From the beginning of our interest in moving to Toccoa-Stephens County, the Stephens County Development Authority made regular trips to our office to make sure we are adjusting to our new home and acclimated to the community resources in Stephens County. They provided a wealth of information on Georgia Business Incentives and tax incentives specific to Stephens County. They introduced us to many connections in Stephens County. We now are well connected with the Department of Labor and attend their monthly meeting and after SCDA's help with some paperwork we have taken advantage of GDOL's Incumbent Worker Program. The Development Authority also shared their long list of local vendors with us and we were able to find our utilities provider, an insurance agent, a computer technician and research local CPAs. Basically, the SCDA is our go to. If we can't figure it out or just need some guidance on an issue we don't hesitate to pick up the phone and call. We definitely appreciate the Stephens County Development Authority's efforts to make Toccoa a great place to do business. They truly make us feel welcome and appreciated in Stephens County! -
31 W. Doyle Street, Toccoa GA 30577
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