Our Community and Economic Development programs offer a variety of resources to help communities prepare for economic development, as well as create workforce housing. Our team has a long history of working with local leaders to develop solutions and create opportunities for communities to succeed in growing jobs, both through organic, small-business growth and through the location of economic development prospects. Our goal is to work hand in hand with local leaders to help communities reach their growth and development goals, improve quality of life, and create sustainable, livable, thriving places to live across our state.
Revitalizing Georgia’s Rural Downtowns
The Rural Zone program targets rural downtown areas that have been adversely impacted by local economic conditions by creating Rural Zones and offering economic development incentives. It differs from other programs at DCA which provide technical assistance and access to capital because it would establish an incentive program to stimulate investment, job creation, and economic development. It also adds in retail opportunities, which are currently excluded from job tax credits. Further, multiple sources can benefit – for instance, a single new coffee shop might provide job tax credits for the local business owner, an investment credit to an urban investor and a rehabilitation credit to a local contractor.
The Job Tax Credit (JTC) will be $2,000 per new full-time equivalent job per year, up to 5 years and not to exceed $200,000 total or $40,000 per year. New full-time equivalent job means an aggregate of employee worked hours totaling 40 hours per week between two or more employees. At least two net, new full-time equivalent jobs must be created to qualify. This credit is for the small business owner who opens a storefront and creates jobs.
The Investment Credit is equivalent to 25% of the purchase price, not to exceed $125,000 total or $25,000 per year. At least two net, new full-time equivalent jobs must be created and maintained to qualify for the investment credit. This credit is for people who purchase a building downtown and cannot be taken unless jobs are created and JTC is taken.
The Rehabilitation Credit is equivalent to 30% of the qualified rehabilitation, not to exceed $150,000 total or $50,000 per year. At least two net, new full-time equivalent jobs must be created and maintained to qualify for the rehabilitation credit. This credit is to offset development costs associated with the rehabilitation of a certified investor property.
The Historic Preservation Division (HPD) is Georgia’s state historic preservation office, or SHPO. Every state has a SHPO, as established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, often referred to simply as the NHPA. HPD has several key functions as part of the national historic preservation program. First, through the Section 106 compliance program (named for the section of the federal implementing regulations of the NHPA), HPD functions as a watchdog over federal agencies doing business in the state, helping to insure that they respect our most important historic resources. Second, we administer various economic development programs that leverage private capital to encourage business growth, especially in our many smaller towns and communities. Finally, through programs like the National Register of Historic Places, Certified Local Governments, and others, we work with partners both inside and outside state government to encourage regional and local planning, neighborhood conservation, downtown revitalization, heritage tourism and archaeological site protection.
State Historic Preservation Offices receive financial assistance through the Historic Preservation Fund of the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, and provides matching state funds to carry out the national historic preservation program. The National Park Service establishes broad policies, programs and standards for state and local participation in the national program. Each state then tailors its own SHPO to address the special character and needs of their state and complement the national program. In Georgia, the General Assembly authorizes or mandates a number of specific preservation programs such as a state property tax freeze, state rehabilitation grants, archaeology protection and stewardship of state-owned buildings.