HomeEconomic Development

Incentive Opportunities: Local and State

The Development Authority of Columbus, Georgia can provide local incentives based on investment and the creation of jobs. Actual incentives will be based on project scope and discussions with the company, but may include the following:

Property Discounts – In certain instances, the Development Authority may offer reduced pricing to a company that is less than the appraised value and appropriate to the scope of the project.

Property Tax Abatements – In certain instances, property tax savings (abatements) may be provided by the local community if a company chooses to finance its capital investment (land, building and equipment) using Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRBs). Pursuant to IRB financing, title to the assets is vested in the local Development Authority and the project is leased to the company with the rent being used to pay the bonds. The specific tax abatement is determined by the local board of assessors upon recommendation by the Authority.  Specific information concerning the specific savings associated with this type of financing can be provided.

Permitting Fees – An accelerated timeline for obtaining necessary permits and/or provide a reduction in the fees normally assessed for permits may be arranged based upon project scope.

Utilities Rates – A particular utility may negotiate a reduced rate with a prospective consumer.  Any reduction would be based upon the consumer usage.

Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ)- This incentive is available only in Columbus, where Muscogee County Technology Park is an extension of Foreign Trade Zone #26. The Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone (GFTZ) establishes and maintains federally-approved Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) in Georgia, enabling individuals or companies to import merchandise to specified sites without going through formal customs entry procedures or paying import duties.  Zone users defer and often reduce customs duties.  Advantages to businesses located within these sites include reduced U.S. customs duties and expedited importing processes, as well as cost management and supply chain enhancements.  There are currently 250 general purpose FTZs around the country and goods can move from one FTZ to another without payment of duties.  Once merchandise enters the actual "commerce" of the U.S., duties are paid, often times at a lower rate.

Freeport Tax Exemption - Freeport inventory tax exemptions of 100% are available for raw materials and goods in process, finished goods held by manufacturers and finished goods held for “out-of-state” shipment.  Application is made annually with the local tax assessor’s office.

Project Management Team - The Project Management Team is comprised of top officials from the community and the state. The team is committed to working with company officials through the entire selection process, and will remain available to assist a company after decisions and announcements are made.

In addition to local incentives, Georgia is very active in recruiting new businesses to the state and has resources dedicated to this effort. There are many incentives geared toward assisting companies in establishing business in the state.

Job Tax Credits - Companies creating new jobs in Columbus, Georgia Muscogee County are eligible to receive Georgia Job Tax Credits for each year (up to five years) in the amount of $1,750 per job. The total credit amount may offset up to 50% of a taxpayer’s state income tax liability for a taxable year. Unused job tax credits may be carried forward ten years.

NOTE: For existing companies expanding operations in a specially-designated census tract:  Companies locating or expanding here are eligible to receive Georgia Job Tax Credits for each year (up to five years) in the amount of $3,500 per job. The total credit amount may offset up to 100% of a taxpayer’s state income tax liability for a taxable year. As an added benefit, after eliminating the company’s state income tax liability, any remaining credits may be taken against the company’s state payroll withholding taxes up to $3,500 per job per year.  Unused job tax credits may be carried forward ten years.

Quick Start - A nationally recognized program providing employees with high-quality, customized training at no cost to the company. The Economic Development staff will work directly with Georgia Quick Start, Columbus Technical College and the Georgia Department of Labor to screen applicants, assist with the hiring process and train a quality workforce for the client at no cost to the company.

Sales Tax Exemptions - Manufacturing production machinery is exempt from state and local tax (8%). Machinery or components intended to upgrade or replace existing machinery may be exempt. Other sales tax exemptions may apply, depending on the size of the business and the total investment.