Atlanta, Georgia - State and Local Incentive Schemes: Software Company

Goals

Understand the available programs and incentives for a software company creating jobs in Atlanta, Georgia.

Early Findings

Georgia

Tax Credits
  • Georgia has a long history of offering job tax credits. Georgia’s Job Tax Credit has been in place for 25 years; the Quality Jobs Tax Credit has been implemented for 15 years.
  • There are varying benefits and qualifications for the tax credits, depending on where a business invests. Investments in less-developed areas of the state have more benefits. However, there are restrictions across all tiers. Jobs have to be maintained for 5 years and credit value is earned in the first five years.
  • Atlanta in particular requires 50 new jobs to be created at minimum over 24 months to qualify for tax credits.
  • Software development is one of the industries that can qualify for job tax credits. Each job must have 35 hours of work a week, offer health insurance, and pay more than the average wage of the county with the lowest average wage.
  • The Quality Job Tax Credit (QJTC) is a separate scheme that targets higher paying jobs (defined as 110% of the county's average wage). Depending on the county, the number of jobs needed to qualify for a tax credit of this type varies. QJTC runs on a 7-year cycle, meaning a company can earn additional tax credits by creating new jobs within that period. After that, new jobs created don't earn QJTCs until the company has created enough quality jobs to qualify for the minimum number in that county within 12-24 months, at which point they can start a new cycle.
  • A company that invests at least $2.5m in a new facility (subject to regulations) can open a second 7-year cycle.
  • There are also job creation tax credits associated with Mega Projects, which requires hiring 1,800 net new full-time employees. It is currently $5,250 per job per tax credit.
Others
  • Georgia also has services unrelated to tax credits for employment. The state offers Quick Start Employee Training, which can help companies assess candidates and train them for success. The Georgia Department of Labor also posts jobs, provides referrals and interview spaces, and runs job fairs.
  • The state's Regional Economic Business Assistance helps businesses that can prove job creation with a robust plan. It can help finance fixed-asset needs of a company, like infrastructure, real estate, and equipment.

Atlanta

  • Atlanta has an Economic Opportunity Fund that can provide grants to help a business set up, based on criteria that includes job creation.
  • Worksource Atlanta makes it easy for businesses to create jobs by helping source and train a workforce.
  • The Opportunity Loan Fund provides gap funding for small- to medium-sized businesses that create at least five new jobs.


While there are several government-driven programs in place that incentivize job creation in particular for software companies in Atlanta, there are other reasons that the city is named the "Silicon Valley of the South". These include incentives targeted at startups and scaleups, retraining tax credits, and tax waivers for businesses focused on new and emerging tech.

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