Incentives

As part of our ongoing efforts to attract business investment and jobs, the Stephens County Development Authority has created economic incentive programs, particularly supporting industrial development. The primary objectives of these incentives are to create new jobs paying good wages or to retain existing jobs. Federal and state incentives may also be available.

Toccoa-Stephens County Incentives Program for New and Existing Manufacturing Industries

LAND COSTS
The Asking Price for land in the Hayestone Brady Business Park is $35,000 per acre. For qualified clients (based on job and investment), however, the Stephens County Development Authority may reduce the price.
WATER SERVICE
The City of Toccoa has an aggressive pricing schedule for utilities to industries. Additionally, Toccoa will consider reducing fees associated with tapping into the water system. This reduction would be negotiated between the company and representatives from the City and is based on projected usage. 
NATURAL GAS SERVICE
The City of Toccoa has an aggressive pricing schedule for utilities to industries. Additionally, Toccoa will consider reducing fees associated with tapping into the natural gas system. This reduction would be negotiated between the company and representatives from the City and is based on projected usage.
WASTEWATER SERVICE
All sites in the Hayestone Brady Business Park can be served by the collection system in place in the park.
ELECTRIC UTILITIES
The client will bear no upfront charges for any construction necessary for Georgia Power or Hart EMC to bring the required service to the elected site within the Hayestone Brady Business Park. Georgia Power maintains a substation within the park.
INDUSTRIAL REVENUE BOND FINANCING
The Stephens County Development Authority is constitutionally enabled to issue both tax exempt and taxable industrial revenue bonds with lease payments suitable to any terms a client or their investment banker and the laws of Georgia will allow. These bonds are a means of conduit financing that often provide the user with lower interest rates and allows for a negotiated investment Fee/Payment in Lieu of Taxes. Bond financing may be used for project-related costs of land, facilities or machinery and equipment. The investment cap for tax-exempt industrial revenue bonds is $20 million making bond financing an attractive vehicle. SCDA retains title to the property and improvements for the life of the bond and leases the project to the user. 
LOCAL AD VALOREM TAX ABATEMENT ON REAL AND PERSONAL PROJECT PROPERTY
All ad valorem tax abatements are negotiated on an individual basis to ensure our competitiveness for a given project. Via an SCDA Industrial Revenue Bond and for certain manufacturers' capital improvements, real and personal, the city and/or county portion of the ad valorem tax may be exempted. Term is based on size of investment and number of jobs.
TAX EXEMPTION ON ENERGY USED IN MANUFACTORING
In the state of Georgia the sale, use, storage or consumption of energy that is necessary and integral to the manufacture of tangible personal property at a manufacturing plant in Georgia shall be exempt from all sales and use taxation except for the sales and use tax for educational purposes.  This includes energy used directly or indirectly in a manufacturing facility.  Stephens County and Toccoa also provide exemptions on their portion of sales and use taxation on energy used in the manufacturing process.
FREEPORT TAX EXEMPTION
Stephens County provides the maximum personal property tax exemption on business inventory allowable under Georgia law, 100 percent, on three classes of eligible property: Manufacturer’s raw materials and goods-in-process inventory; Manufacturer’s finished goods held by the original manufacturer; and Warehouse, distribution, or manufacturing firms with finished goods destined to be shipped outside of Georgia.
JOBS TAX CREDIT
Georgia offers a range of corporate tax credits that enable companies to minimize or completely eliminate state corporate income taxes which, at six percent, are already among the lowest in the nation. As of January 1, 2019, Stephens County’s Tier status for Job Tax Credit purposes is Tier 3. Under current legislation, when a company locates in Stephens County and creates 5 qualified jobs, the company qualifies for Georgia’s Job Tax Credit. To qualify jobs must be full-time, offer health insurance benefits consistent with what is offered to existing employess and pay more than the average wage of the county with the lowest average wage in the state.  For each year (up to five years) the jobs are maintained, the company can claim a tax credit with a value of $1,500 per job, per year, applied toward 100 percent of its Georgia Corporate Income Tax Liability. These tax credits can only be applied against a company’s Georgia corporate income tax liability. This does not apply to properties designated as Opportunity Zones. An additional $500 credit is offered because Stephens County participates in a multi-county joint development authority. Unused job tax credits may be carried forward ten years.
OPPORTUNITY ZONE PAYROLL WITHHOLDING TAX CREDIT
Several sites in Stephens County are located in a state-designated Opportunity Zone. Businesses of any nature, locating in these sites, creating at least two net full-time permanent jobs (at least 35 hours per week), with offered health insurance, may claim a job tax credit of $3,500 per job. (Note: Health insurance just has to be offered, not paid for and the two jobs may not be filled by a married couple.) Credit may be applied against 100 percent of any corporate income tax liability on the Georgia Income Tax Return. (Credit may not be applied to net worth tax liability.) Unused credit can then be used to offset Payroll Withholding.
LESS DEVELOPED CENSUS TRACT
Georgia offers a range of corporate tax credits that enable companies to minimize or completely eliminate state corporate income taxes which, at 5.75 percent, are already among the lowest in the nation. Under current legislation, when a company locates in the Hayestone Brady Business Park and creates 5 new jobs, the company qualifies for Georgia’s Less Developed Census Tract Job Tax Credit. For each year (up to five years) the jobs are maintained, the company can claim a tax credit with a value of $3,500 per job, per year, applied against 100% of any corporate income tax liability on the Georgia Corporate Income Tax Return. Excess credit may be applied against payroll withholding if the proper steps are taken with the Department of Revenue (DOR). .
SKILLED LABOR
The labor draw area for Toccoa-Stephens County includes six Georgia counties (Banks, Franklin, Habersham, Hart, Rabun, and Stephens) and two South Carolina counties (Anderson and Oconee). Skilled workers are available from the unemployed, underemployed, and employed ranks.
EXISTING INDUSTRIES
Toccoa-Stephens County has a 145-year record of growing and supporting dynamic, international and family-owned, manufacturing facilities. Today, Toccoa-Stephens County boasts operations such as American Woodmark, Winchester, VA; Applegate Insulation, Webberville, MI; ASI Southeast, Yonkers, NY; Coats & Clark, Charlotte, NC; Dewtex, Lancashire, England; Eaton, Cleveland, OH; Lanier Clothes, Atlanta, GA; Nifco KTW, Weissenberg, Germany; Sage Automotive Interiors, Greenville, SC; Sark Wire, Istanbul, Turkey; Patterson Pump, Mansfield, OH; Taylor Communications, Mankato, MN; and Trachte, Oregon, WI.
LABOR/UNION CLIMATE
Through the years, Toccoa-Stephens County has had considerable success in recruiting and supporting successful manufacturing concerns and possesses an experienced and trained labor force that is virtually non-union within the county.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
The SCDA is open to discussions and negotiations on other possible incentives that may be of interest to the client based on jobs created and investments in real and personal property.
About

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.

For Businesses
Incentives
Georgia Work Ready
State Tax Credits
Opportunity Zone Tax Credit
Freeport Tax Exemption
Training and Education
Grants & Other Finance Options
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Contact Us
Phone:
706-886-4242
Address:
31 W. Doyle Street, Toccoa GA 30577
Hours:
Mon-Fri 8:30 am to 5:30 pm
E-mail:
tim@scda.biz
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