Rome and Floyd County have moved back up a notch in the Georgia Department of Community Affairs assessment of the economic vitality of counties across the state.
The community has been elevated from a Tier 2 county to a Tier 3 county for the purpose of allocating job creation tax credits.
The move means that businesses in Floyd County that create at least 15 new jobs of at least 35 hours a week are eligible for a tax credit of $1,250 per job.
And, since Floyd County is coupled with Gordon County on a joint development authority, companies can get an additional $500 added to the job tax credit.
The state uses a formula each year that includes unemployment data, per capita income and the percentage of residents whose income falls below the federal poverty level.
The 71 least developed counties are in Tier 1. Counties that rank from 72 through 106 are designated as Tier 2; counties 107 through 141 are in Tier 3; and the most highly developed counties are in Tier 4.
Rome-Floyd County Development Authority President Missy Kendrick said the change in ranking is problematic.
She said she doesn’t believe the local economic conditions have changed as much as, perhaps, the conditions in counties that were either slightly above or below Floyd County in the rankings.
“Unfortunately, when we move from a Tier 2 to a Tier 3 we are unable to offer as many incentives to a company,” Kendrick said. “A year ago we lost a Less Developed Census Tract, but this year we’re getting it back again.”
Less Developed Census Tracts qualify for additional tax incentives for the creation of new jobs.
Companies in Less Development Census Tracts that add at least five new full-time jobs can receive a $3,500 job tax credit.
Kendrick is getting out a notice to all local industries considering an expansion that would add new jobs — telling them to file a notice of intent prior to March 31. That way they can take advantage of the old Tier 2 ranking, which offers tax credits of $2,500 per job along with the $500 for being part of a joint development authority.
If companies file a timely Notice of Intent to add jobs, they will be able to claim Tier 2 benefits for 2021, 2022 and 2023.
Chattooga and Murray counties are the only jurisdictions in the Northwest Georgia region to qualify for Tier 1 tax credit incentives of $3,500 per job. Polk, Walker, Gilmer and Whitfield counties qualify for Tier 2 status.
Floyd, Bartow, Gordon, Dade, Catoosa, Fannin and Haralson counties qualify for the Tier 3 tax credit incentives while Paulding and Pickens counties are eligible for Tier 4 incentives of $750 per job.