Financial Incentives

The City of Sandersville has access to multiple financing options for downtown development through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and the Georgia Cities Foundation. Please note the programs that are listed below:

Georgia Cities Foundation

The Georgia Cities Foundation, established in 1999 as a 501(c)(3) organization, is a non-profit subsidiary of the Georgia Municipal Association. The mission of the Foundation is to assist cities in their efforts to revitalize and enhance downtown areas by serving as a partner and facilitator in funding capital projects through a revolving loan fund. 
For information on the Revolving Loan Fund, follow this link.
For information the Green Communities Fund, follow this link .

Georgia Department of Community Affairs

The Downtown Development Revolving Loan Fund (DD RLF), from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, is to assist cities, counties and development authorities in their efforts to revitalize and enhance downtown areas. This is accomplished by providing below-market rate financing to fund capital projects in core historic downtown areas and adjacent historic neighborhoods where DDRLF will spur commercial redevelopment. 

For information on Downtown Development Revolving Loan Fund, follow this link


United States Department of Agriculture: Rural Development

The Rural Business Development Grant is a competitive grant designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas that have fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenues. Programmatic activities are separated into enterprise or opportunity type grant activities. For information on the Rural Business Development Grant, follow this link.

Small Business Development Center UGA

The UGA Small Business Development Center helps new and existing business through training opportunities, consulting services, and identifying financial resources that will best fit your goals as a business owner. Many of their services are offered at no cost!
For information on the UGA Small Business Development Center, follow this link.


Low Interest Loans

There are several federal, state and city programs that can help you borrow funds at a favorable rate. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a federal program that guarantees payment for loans secured from local banks are all SBA approved. Contact these banks directly for terms and conditions.


State Historic Preservation Tax Incentives

The Georgia State Income Tax Credit Program for Rehabilitated Historic Property allows eligible participants to apply for a state income tax credit equaling 25% of qualifying rehabilitation expenses capped at $100,000 for personal, residential properties, and $300,000 for income-producing properties. The credit is a dollar for dollar reduction in taxes owed to the State of Georgia and is meant to serve as an incentive to those who own historic properties and wish to complete a rehabilitation.  The Georgia Preferential Property Tax Assessment Program for Rehabilitated Historic Property allows eligible participants to apply for an 8-year property tax assessment freeze. This incentive program is designed to encourage rehabilitation of both residential & commercial historic buildings by freezing property tax assessments for eight and one-half years. Follow this link.


Georgia Heritage Grant Program

Offers matching funds on a statewide competitive basis to local governments & nonprofit organizations (except for churches & other religious organizations) for the preservation of Georgia Register & National Register-eligible historic properties. The program provides matching grants for development and predevelopment projects. Program funding is provided by historic preservation license plate fees.


Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives

Available for costs incurred when rehabilitating historic buildings for income-producing uses. ?The credit is equal to 20% of Qualified Rehabilitation Expenses,  and can be used to offset a corporate investor’s federal income tax liability.

  • QREs do not include acquisition costs for land and building.
  • The corporate investor “purchases” credits by buying an equity interest in the entity that owns the building. Credits are generally allocated to the owners in accordance with their allocation of profits. However, cash flows are allocated differently than profits through the use of various fees and other structuring methods.


  • Property is listed on National Register of Historic Places.
  • Property is not tax-exempt.
  • Taxpayer completes a Historic Tax Credit Application.
  • QREs undertaken during a 24-month measurement period.
  • Project is not an enlargement of current structure.
  • Development fees must be “reasonable.”


  • 20% income tax credit is based on QREs undertaken in the measurement period.
  • 100% becomes available the year property is placed in service.
  • Can be carried back one year and carried forward for 20 years.
  • A five-year recapture period applies for the credits, in which the investor must keep its interest in the project. After the recapture period expires, the developer or general partner usually has the option to purchase the investor’s interest for a fraction of the investor’s initial investment.

The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives allows eligible participants to apply for a state income tax credit equaling 20% of qualifying rehabilitation expenses of historic, income-producing buildings that are determined by the Secretary of the Interior, through the National Park Service, to be “certified historic structures.”

The State Historic Preservation Offices and the National Park Service review the rehabilitation work to ensure that it complies with the Secretary’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The Internal Revenue Service defines qualified rehabilitation expenses on which the credit may be taken. Owner-occupied residential properties do not qualify for the federal rehabilitation tax credit. Follow this link.


Federal New Markets Tax Credit

  • Available to investors in Community Development Entities for qualifying investment the CDEs make in those businesses that are located in low-income communities.
  • The best way to utilize this credit is to find an existing CDE that already has an allocation and convince them to loan the developer funds for a project, likely at a low interest rate.


  • Commercial real estate qualifies as a business for the purposes of CDE investments.
  • Investment by the CDE can be in the form of a loan or equity.
  • The CDE must receive allocation from the federal government for the credits.
  • The CDE can provide the owner/developer an interest-only loan for 20% of the project cost which loan is “forgiven” after five years.


  • Credit is equal to 49% of the amount of the CDE’s investment.
  • 5% for each of the first three years.
  • 6% for years four to seven

The State of Georgia also offers statutory Incentives to support your project.


Historically Underutilized Business Zones

HUBZone is a United States Small Business Administration (SBA) program for small companies that operate & employ people in Historically Underutilized Business Zones.

The HUBZone Program stimulates economic development and creates jobs in urban and rural communities by providing Federal contracting preferences to small businesses. These preferences go to small businesses that obtain HUBZone certification in part by employing staff who live in a HUBZone. The company must also maintain a “principal office” in one of these specially designated areas.

Small businesses are designated as HUB Zones certified by the following criteria:

  • Company must be a small business by SBA standards.
  • Be owned and controlled at least 51% by U.S. citizens, a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative or an Indian tribe;
  • Have its principal office must located within a “Historically Underutilized Business Zone,” which includes lands considered qualified census tracts; qualified non-metropolitan counties; lands within the external boundaries of an Indian reservation; and military facilities closed by the Base Realignment and Closure Act.
  • Have at least 35% of its employees residing in a HUBZone.


The Port Tax Credit Bonus is available to taxpayers who qualify for the Job Tax Credit or the Investment Tax Credit and increase imports or exports through a Georgia port by 10 percent over the previous or base year. Base year port traffic must be at least 75 net tons, five containers or 10 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units); if not, the percentage increase in port traffic will be calculated using 75 net tons, five containers, or 10 TEUs as the base. The Port Tax Credit bonus can be used with either the Job or the Investment Tax Credit program, provided that the company meets the requirements for one of those programs. Port Tax Credits may be used to offset up to 50 percent of the company’s corporate income tax liability. Unused credits may be carried forward for 10 years, provided that the increase in port traffic remains above levels established in year one for eligibility and that the company continues to meet the job or investment tax credit requirements. Note that the Port Tax Credit Bonus cannot be utilized with the Quality Jobs Tax Credit.

Port Tax Credits are subject to program requirements as outlined in O.C.G.A. § 48-7-40.15.


Georgia provides a statewide job tax credit for any business or headquarters of any such business creating net new jobs for Georgia and engaged in in strategic industries such as manufacturing, warehousing & distribution, processing, telecommunications, broadcasting, tourism, research and development industries, biomedical manufacturing, and services for the elderly and persons with disabilities. The amount of the per-job tax credit depends on the community’s designated tier.


Companies may receive Quality Jobs Tax Credits (QJTC) if, during a 12-month period, they create and maintain at least 50 net new jobs that pay at least 110 percent of the county’s average wage. The QJTC value ranges from $2,500 to $5,000 per job, per year, for up to five years.

After qualifying, a company can earn additional QJTC credits ($2,500 to $5,000 per job, per year, for up to five years) over the next seven years by creating and maintaining additional qualifying jobs. New jobs created after the seven-year period ends do not earn QJTC credits unless the project creates at least 50 net new qualifying jobs in a 12-month period again to begin another seven-year cycle.

QJTC may be applied against 100 percent of the state corporate income tax liability, and once that liability has been exhausted, the credits may be used to offset the company’s state payroll withholding. Claimed but unused credits may be carried forward for 10 years from the close of the taxable year in which the qualified jobs were established.

New jobs that do not meet the requirements for the QJTC may count toward Job Tax Credits if they meet the eligibility requirements for that program separately. For current average county wages, visit Explorer.DOL.State.GA.US/mis/Current/ewcurrent.pdf. QJTCs are subject to requirements outlined in O.C.G.A. § 48-7-40.17 and rules published by the Georgia Department of Revenue in regulation 560-7-8-.51.


Georgia offers an incentive to new and existing business entities performing qualified research and development in Georgia. Qualified research expenses are defined in Section 41 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, except that all wages paid, and all purchases of services and supplies must be for research conducted within the state of Georgia. Companies may claim a 10 percent tax credit of increased R&D expenses subject to a base amount calculation.

The base amount = Current Year Georgia Gross Receipts x [(the average of the ratios of the company’s qualified Georgia research expenses to Georgia gross receipts for the preceding three taxable years) OR 0.300, whichever is less]. For new Georgia companies or for companies with no prior R&D expenditures in Georgia, the base amount is 30 percent of the current year’s Georgia gross receipts.

The credit is determined by taking the current year’s qualified R&D expenses, subtracting the base amount, and multiplying by 10 percent. The R&D credit is applied to 50 percent of the company’s net Georgia corporate income tax liability after all other credits have been applied. Any excess R&D credits can then be applied to the company’s state payroll withholding. Any unused credits can be carried forward for up to 10 years from the close of the taxable year in which the qualified research expenses were made.

Research and Development Tax Credits are subject to program requirements as outlined in O.C.G.A. § 48-7-40.12.



The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) coordinates the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program. The WOTC program is a federal tax credit incentive that the U.S. federal government provides to private-sector businesses for hiring individuals from nine target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment.

Among others, target groups include:

  • Unemployed veterans
  • Certain Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients
  • Food Stamp recipients
  • Certain residents of an Empowerment Zone (EZ)
  • Rural Renewal County (RRC) residents

Participating companies are compensated by being able to reduce their federal income tax liability with a tax credit between $1,200 to $9,000 per qualified employee, depending on the target group. For more information visit: DOL.State.GA.US/em/learn_about_tax_credits_and_incentives.htm.


The Child Care Tax Credit is for employers who purchase or build qualified childcare facilities, or who provide or sponsor childcare for employees.

For employers who purchase or build a state licensed facility, the credit is equal to 100 percent of the cost of construction, which is earned over 10 years (10 percent each year). Unused credits can be carried forward for three years.

Employers who provide or sponsor childcare at a state-licensed facility are eligible for a credit equal to Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems 75 percent of the employer’s direct costs. Credits that are related to providing or sponsoring child care may be carried forward for five years.

All childcare tax credits can be applied to 50 percent of the corporate income tax liability.

Child Care Tax Credits are subject to program requirements as outlined in O.C.G.A. § 48-7-40.6 and rules published by the Georgia Department of Revenue in regulation 560-7-8-.38.



Effective January 1, 2017, Georgia offers a $2,500 per person tax credit for hiring an individual granted parole within 12 months of his or her date of hire.

This credit, which can be used in addition to any job tax credits that the company may be eligible for with the position, can only be used once per individual, and there is a per-employer limit of $50,000 for each tax year. The credits are applied to 100% of state corporate income tax liability, with the ability to carry forward any excess credits for three years.

Employers from any industry are eligible for the tax credit, but the company can only claim the tax credit if it pays the individual at or above the average wage of the county with the lowest average wage in the state ($471/week as of June 2016).

Parolee Tax Credits are subject to program requirements as outlined in O.C.G.A. 48-7-40.31 and rules published by the Georgia Department of Revenue in regulation 560-7-8-.58.



The Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act offers an across-the-board flat tax credit of 20 percent based on a minimum investment of $500,000 on qualified productions in Georgia.

The $500,000 minimum expenditure threshold can be met with one or the total of multiple projects aggregated. An additional 10 percent uplift can be earned by including an embedded, animated Georgia logo and web link on the project’s promotional webpage, or through approved alternatives if they offer equal or greater marketing opportunities for the state. Qualified expenditures include materials, services and labor.

Eligible productions include:

  • Feature Films
  • Television Movies
  • Pilots or Series
  • Commercials
  • Music Videos
  • Certain Interactive Entertainment Projects (Animation, Special Effects and Video Game Development)

Interactive entertainment companies will be eligible for this credit only if their gross income is less than $100 million. The maximum credit for any qualified interactive entertainment production company and its affiliates will be $5 million. The total credits available for interactive entertainment production companies and their affiliates will be capped at $25 million each year and will be awarded on a first-come, first served basis.

This income tax credit may be used against Georgia income tax liability or the company’s Georgia payroll withholding. If the production company chooses, they may make a one-time sale or transfer of the tax credit to one or more Georgia taxpayers.

Film, Television and Interactive Entertainment Tax Credits are subject to program requirements as outlined in O.C.G.A. § 48-7-40.26.



Georgia helps companies lower their cost of doing business by offering the ability to purchase various types of goods and services tax free. These sales tax exemptions are defined in O.C.G.A. § 48-8-3, 48.8-3.2 and 48-8-3.3.

Manufacturing Machinery and Equipment
Manufacturing machinery and equipment that is integral and necessary to the manufacturing process and used in a manufacturing facility located in this state is exempt from sales tax. Qualifying machinery or equipment must be purchased for a new manufacturing facility, as replacement machinery in an existing manufacturing facility, or for the upgrade or expansion of an existing manufacturing facility.

Repair to Industrial Machinery
The sale or use of repair or replacement parts, machinery clothing, molds, dies, waxes or tooling for machinery that is necessary and integral to the manufacture of tangible personal property in an existing manufacturing plant is exempt from taxation.

Industrial Materials and Packaging
Materials used for further processing, manufacture or conversion into components of a finished product; materials coated upon or impregnated into a product being manufactured for sale; and non-reusable materials used to package products for sale or shipment may be purchased tax-free.

Energy Used in Manufacturing
The sale, use, storage or consumption of energy that is necessary and integral to the manufacturing process is exempt, except for the portion dedicated to education (in most cases 1%, but there are a few communities with 0% or 2% dedicated to education). This includes energy used directly or indirectly in a manufacturing facility. Specifically, energy means natural or artificial gas, oil, gasoline, electricity, solid fuel, wood, waste, ice, steam, water and other materials necessary and integral for heat, light, power, refrigeration, climate control, processing or any other use in the manufacture of tangible personal property. Counties and municipalities have the option of passing a local excise tax of the value of the local portion of sales and use tax being exempted (in the majority of cases 3%, but the value can vary from 2% to 4%).

Primary Material Handling Equipment
Machinery and equipment used to handle, move or store tangible personal property in a new or expanded distribution or warehouse facility where the total purchase or expansion is valued at $5 million or more is exempt. The distribution or warehouse facility may not have retail sales equal to or greater than 15% of the facility’s total revenues.

Pollution Control Equipment
The sale of machinery and equipment and any repair, replacement or component parts for such machinery and equipment which is used for the primary purpose of reducing or eliminating air or water pollution is exempt.

Computer Hardware and Software for High Technology Companies
The sale of certain computer equipment is exempt when the total qualifying purchases by a high technology company in a calendar year exceed $15 million. A high technology company must be classified under certain relevant North American Industry Classification System codes.

Clean Room Equipment
Machinery, equipment and materials used in the construction or operation of a clean room of Class 100 or less when the clean room is used directly in the manufacture of tangible personal property is exempt.

Water Costs
The sale of water delivered through mains, lines or pipes is specifically exempt.

Telecommunications Services
Local exchange telephone service is subject to sales and use tax. All other call service types (VoIP, long distance) are not.



The state of Georgia has no property tax on inventory or any other real or personal property. Under Georgia’s Level One Freeport law, counties and municipalities have the option of enacting a local property tax exemption for four different classes of inventory. The local government can exempt the property at 20, 40, 60, 80 or 100 percent of the value. The fourth class of goods, inventory at an e-commerce fulfillment center, was created by the Georgia legislature in 2016.

The three classes of goods under Level One Freeport:

Class One: Inventory of goods in the process of being manufactured or produced including raw materials and partly finished goods.

Class Two: Inventory of finished goods manufactured or produced within this state held by the manufacturer or producer for a period not to exceed 12 months.

Class Three: Inventory of finished goods on January 1 that are stored in a warehouse, dock or wharf which are destined for shipment outside this state for a period not to exceed 12 months.

Local governments can also hold a referendum to approve Level Two Freeport, which would extend the exemption to any inventory or real property not covered by Level One, including retail inventory. Level One and Level Two Freeport Exemptions are outlined in O.C.G.A. 48-5-48.1, 48-5-48.2, 48-5-48.5, and 48-5-48.6.


Georgia is home to multiple FTZ sites and is a recognized leader in working with companies to facilitate use of the program. Importing and exporting are central to many businesses’ success, and the program streamlines those activities and lowers costs. The FTZ program allows qualified companies to defer, decrease or eliminate duties on materials imported from overseas that are used in products assembled in Georgia. Whether a company’s needs are best served by locating in one of Georgia’s industrial parks with FTZ designation or applying for FTZ designation of an individual facility located elsewhere in Georgia, GDEcD can provide the right contacts to assist with the process.


Georgia’s environmental permitting program is consolidated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the issuance of federal permits; a one-stop process that provides a faster turnaround than in states that must rely on U.S. EPA to issue permits. The director of the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is authorized to grant all permits provided for by EPD-enforced laws, including the Federal Clean Water, Clean Air and Safe Drinking Water Acts. Major regulatory programs currently assigned to EPD include air quality control, water quality control and withdrawal, hazardous waste management, solid waste management and wastewater land application. Georgia’s one-stop permitting reduces government red tape and enables companies to acquire required permits more quickly. In addition, Georgia EPD offers optional, fee-based, expedited air quality permitting for projects with very short lead times.



Georgia offers an income tax credit for qualified investors who invest in certain qualified businesses in Georgia. The credit is claimed two years after the investment is made. The credit is 35 percent of the investment with an individual investor cap of $50,000 per year. O.C.G.A. 48-7-40.30.


The State Small Business Credit Initiative is designed for small business lending through banks or Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) offering loan guarantees and partnership lending opportunities.



The EB-5 Visa for Immigrant Investors is a United States visa created by the Immigration Act of 1990. The EB-5 Visa provides a method of obtaining a Green Card (Permanent Residence) for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States which in turn creates or preserves US jobs. A Targeted Employment Area (TEA) for EB-5 Visa purpose which allows $500,000 USD investment rather than the regular $1 Million USD to qualify for the program.



Georgia has an investment tax credit available to existing companies in the state. The value of the credit is 1-5 percent (depending on the tier status of the county where the investment is made) of the qualifying investment expenses. To qualify, a company must:

  • have operated either a manufacturing or telecommunications facility in Georgia for at least three years, and make a minimum $50,000 investment in a new or existing manufacturing or telecommunications facility in Georgia; OR
  • have operated a corporate office or other support facility for a manufacturing or telecommunications company in Georgia for at least three years and make a minimum $50,000 investment in a new or existing manufacturing or telecommunications facility in Georgia.

Qualified investment expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Amounts expended on land acquisition
  • Improvements
  • Buildings
  • Machinery and equipment to be used in a Manufacturing or Telecommunications facility

Higher credits (3-8 percent, depending on tier status) are available for investments in:

  • Recycling or Pollution Control Equipment
  • Defense Plant Manufacturing Conversion to a New Product

The duration of a project shall not exceed three years unless expressly approved in writing by the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Revenue. This credit may be applied against 50 percent of state corporate income tax liability and carried forward for 10 years. To be eligible to receive the credits, a taxpayer must submit a written application to the Georgia Department of Revenue requesting approval of the project plan no later than thirty (30) days after the completion of the project. Taxpayers may claim only one of the job or investment tax credits for a given project.

Investment Tax Credits are subject to program requirements as outlined in O.C.G.A. § 48-7-40.2, 48-7-40.3, and 48-7-40.4 and in rules published by the Georgia Department of Revenue in regulation 560-7-8-.37.


Exclusive to Georgia, the Centers of Innovation provide the technical industry expertise, collaborative research and partnerships to help the state’s strategic industries connect, compete and grow globally. As a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the six individual centers operate statewide with a focus on: Aerospace, Agribusiness, Energy Technology, Information Technology, Logistics and Manufacturing.


Georgia businesses receive:

  • Focused, deep technical industry expertise
  • Identification of new markets and business opportunities
  • New product commercialization and development assistance
  • Access to ground-breaking research and collaborations
  • Business, academic and government partnerships



The International Trade Division provides Georgia businesses with free export services including market intelligence, key in-country contacts and cost-effective international opportunities to help them diversify and grow. The division leverages the state’s international representatives in 11 strategic global markets – Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Europe, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico and the UK and Ireland – providing customized export services and solutions.

  • Global Insight – Providing knowledge including the “how-to’s” of exporting, industry-specific and country-specific data. Services include research, export education, consultations, market assessments and partner resources.
  • Global Connections – Matching Georgia suppliers with international buyers/representatives. Accomplished through international and domestic tradeshows, trade missions, incoming buyer delegations, in-country matching, business partner identifications and Trade Opportunity Alert notification