The City of Alpharetta and the State of Georgia both offer a wide array of incentives for expanding and relocating businesses. Significant savings can be provided for firms that bring a substantial amount of new jobs and capital investment into the community.
The City of Alpharetta provides local incentives through its economic development toolbox and facilitated by our team of experienced economic development professionals. New or growing business that demonstrate a serious economic impact through job creation and capital investment qualify for these programs.
1. Expedited Permitting And Inspections
The City of Alpharetta prides itself in delivering a level of service that is unparalleled in Metro Atlanta relative to the construction process. Shortly after a company decides to locate in Alpharetta, we will assign a senior member of our staff to serve as an ombudsman for your project; your 24/7 contact who will assist in expediting services and addressing City-related issues. Additionally, the company will be benefit from a single team of professionals who will remain with your project from start to completion; ensuring that tasks such as building inspections are performed by the same inspector each time. Our process, such as one-stop permitting, are designed to exceed expectations and work in partnership with our corporate citizens.
Pre-submittal meetings can be scheduled involving the companies architects, engineers, and contractor and key members of our staff. During the meeting, our staff will walk them through every step of the process from plan submittal through inspections and final certificate of occupancy. Our experience proves that this pre-meeting assists architects, engineers and contractors to avoid pitfalls and mistakes that could delay a project’s completion.
Currently, our Plans Examiners are issuing their initial response on commercial building plans within ten business days of a complete submittal. With regards to building inspections once construction begins, as I have indicated in past correspondence, the City of Alpharetta offers same-day building inspections as a standard practice at no charge to the client. Contractors simply contact our inspections office between the hours of 8:00 AM and 9:00 AM to schedule their required inspections.
2. Discounted Permitting and Inspection Fees
The High Impact Permit and Inspection Grant was created by the Alpharetta Development Authority to incentivize new or expanding businesses that are deemed high impact to the City of Alpharetta in terms of local job creation, high-wages and real property capital investment. Projects exceeding $5 million in real property capital investment would qualify for a Base Permit Fee reduction of 20%-45% with a cap of $250,000.
3. Local Job Creation Credit
To encourage new and expanding businesses to hire from the local workforce, the City of Alpharetta, through the City of Alpharetta Development Authority, has established a Local Jobs Creation Grant Program. Under this program, for each job created that qualifies for the Georgia Job Tax Credit Program and for which a current resident of the City of Alpharetta is hired; the City will pay a direct grant of $250-$500 per new employee to a business up to a maximum cumulative amount of $80,000. The grant may be claimed for eligible new full-time, permanent jobs at the Alpharetta facility and may be claimed in years two and three, if the Alpharetta resident continues to be employed.
4. Downtown Beautification and Facade Improvement Grant
The Downtown Beautification and Facade Improvement Grant assist merchants and property owners through a matching beautification/façade improvement program in order to improve the aesthetics of Downtown Alpharetta and promote an historic architectural theme reminiscent of when Alpharetta was originally founded in 1858. Grants can be used to improve the appearance and historic character of Downtown Alpharetta through the addition of contributing architectural and aesthetic features and removal or replacement of incompatible, non-contributing elements including items such as lighting, signage, awnings, window styles, columns, molding, and finish materials. To qualify, the commercial property must fall within the Historic Downtown Alpharetta area.
5. Tax Abatement
The City of Alpharetta is a full participant in the local tax abatement program coordinated through the Alpharetta Development Authority. They are designed to lower the real and personal tax liability on the value of new investments made in Alpharetta and can provide significant savings. Requirements of a tax abatement include meeting minimum thresholds in the areas of job creation, average salary, and fiscal impact. The final authorization to issue bonds rests with the Alpharetta Development Authority board of directors.
6. Revenue Bonds
The Alpharetta Development Authority stands ready to issue revenue bonds in financing projects that will have a significant impact on the City of Alpharetta in terms of job creation and capital investment. These tax free bonds can provide significant savings to qualifying projects over more traditional financing methods. The final authorization to issue bonds rests with the Alpharetta Development Authority board of directors.
Georgia offers tax incentives and credits to Georgia businesses through the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) . These tax credits give Georgia businesses the opportunity to minimize or even eliminate state corporate income tax. They apply to all qualifying companies – large, small and in between – rooted in Georgia or new to the state. Typically, corporate income tax credits apply to 50 percent of a company’s state tax liability in a given year. But in some cases, they can offset up to 100 percent of corporate income tax as well as payroll withholding liability.
Learn More about Georgia’s Tax Incentives
1. Job Tax Credit
The Job Tax Credit is a tax credit that helps fuel company expansion by rewarding job creation. In Georgia, job credits provide as much as $4,000 in annual tax savings per job for up to five years. They’re available to businesses (or their headquarters) in seven strategic sectors:
- Warehousing & distribution
- Research & development
The exact value of the job credits depends on two factors – how many jobs are created, and where. A downloadable map shows how all Georgia counties and census tracts rank as “economic tiers” based on three factors: unemployment rate, per capita income and percentage of residents whose incomes are below poverty level. The City of Alpharetta is a Tier 3 community qualifying each job for a $1,750 tax credit.
2. Quality Jobs Tax Credit
The Quality Jobs Tax Credit is another job tax credit for jobs that pay higher-than-average wages. It can give Georgia companies a significant tax break and help drive growth. The Quality Jobs Tax Credit rewards companies that create at least 50 jobs in a 12-month period – provided the jobs pay wages that are at least 10 percent higher than the county average for wages. The following table shows the value of the Quality Job Tax Credit for each job and its percentage over the county wage average. Currently, the average annual wage in Fulton County is $1,277 weekly or $66,404 annually.
3. Mega Project Tax Credit
The Mega Project Tax Credit is available for companies that employ at least 1,800 net new employees, and either invest a minimum of $450 million or have a minimum annual payroll of $150 million. These qualifying companies may claim a $5,250 per job, per year tax credit for the first five years of each net new job position. Credits are first applied to state corporate income tax, then any excess credits are eligible for use against payroll withholding. Credits may be carried forward for 10 years.
4. Sales and Use Tax Exemption
Georgia helps companies lower their cost of doing business by offering the ability to purchase various types of goods and services tax free through the Sales and Use Tax Exemption. These sales tax exemptions are defined in O.C.G.A. § 48-8-3 and several key exemptions are outlined in the table below.
Types of Exemptions:
- Manufacturing Machinery & Equipment
- Repair to Industrial Machinery
- Raw Materials and Packaging
- Energy Used in Manufacturing
- Primary Material Handling Equipment
- Pollution Control Equipment
- Computer Hardware and Software for High Technology Companies
- Clean Room Equipment
- Water Costs
- Telecommunications Services
5. Investment Tax Credit
Business inventory is exempt from state property taxes (0.25 mills) through the Investment Tax Credit program. More than sixty percent of Georgia counties and cities have also adopted a Level One Freeport Exemption, set at 20, 40, 60, 80 or 100 percent of the inventory value. A Level One Freeport Exemption may exempt the following types of tangible personal property:
- Inventory of goods in the process of being manufactured or produced including raw materials and partly finished goods.
- Inventory of finished goods manufactured or produced in Georgia held by the manufacturer or producer for a period not to exceed 12 months.
- Inventory of finished goods on January 1 that are stored in a warehouse, dock, or wharf that are destined for shipment outside of Georgia for a period not to exceed 12 months. Research and development (R&D) tax credits are a valuable benefit for companies developing new products and services in Georgia.
6. Research And Development Tax Credit
Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credits are a valuable benefit for companies developing new products and services in Georgia. R&D tax credits are available to any company that increases its qualified research spending. Brand new companies, existing companies embarking on R&D for the first time, established companies expanding their R&D budget – all are eligible for R&D tax credits.
The tax credit earned is a portion of the increase in R&D spending. The credit can be used to offset up to 50 percent of net Georgia income tax liability, after all other credits have been applied.
Any unused R&D tax credits can be carried forward for up to 10 years. In addition, excess R&D tax credits can be used against state payroll withholding.
7. Retraining Tax Credit
Retraining Tax Credits enable Georgia businesses to offset their investment in employees. Whether retraining workers to use new equipment or new technology or upgrading the company’s competitiveness with ISO 9000 training, companies can afford more training, more often, thanks to Georgia’s tax credit program.
Businesses can receive a tax credit of 50 percent of their direct training expenses, with up to $500 credit per full-time employee, per training program. The annual maximum of the credit amounts to $1,250 per employee. Eligible expenses include:
- costs of instructors and teaching materials
- employee wages during retraining
- reasonable travel expenses