The city of Smyrna announced Tuesday a new Job Tax Credit opportunity for businesses and properties within the newly awarded Opportunity Zone.
The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) awarded this week an Opportunity Zone designation to portions of the . This is first Opportunity Zone designation in Smyrna.
The zone consists of approximately 695 acres including the commercial properties along South Cobb Drive, Windy Hill Road, and Atlanta Road north of Windy Hill. (view map here).
This designation means that any business within the Opportunity Zone that creates at least two new jobs on or after January 1, 2011, is eligible for a Job Tax Credit of $3,500.00 per job. The credit may be applied against Georgia income tax liability and state payroll withholding for five years, beginning with the tax year in which the new jobs were created.
“For new and expanding Smyrna businesses, this is an incentive for investing resources in the city of Smyrna,’’ said Mayor Max Bacon. “For property owners, the Opportunity Zone designation is a tool for recruiting new tenants to commercial spaces.”
The new Opportunity Zone focuses on the commercial and retail areas of North Smyrna that have especially struggled in the economic downturn.
To be eligible to receive the Opportunity Zone designation, the city submitted an application and an urban redevelopment plan to DCA. If an area is in or adjacent to a census block group with 15 percent or greater poverty where an urban redevelopment plan currently exists, DCA may award opportunity zone designation.
“Job creation is Governor (Nathan) Deal’s highest priority,” said DCA Commissioner Mike Beatty. “DCA is pleased to have worked with the city of Smyrna to provide this important tool for economic growth.”
The designation and related benefits are valid for tax years 2011 through 2021. In order to be eligible to receive the tax credits, businesses must follow a series of specific steps, starting with a signed verification by the city that their business is located within the Opportunity Zone.
For instructions on how to claim the Job Tax Credit, program contact information, and a map of the new Opportunity Zone, please see here.
Businesses within the Opportunity Zone are being mailed letters of the announcement and directions with a complete list of specific steps and contacts. The claims process is outlined on the website referenced above.