R.U.R.A.L. Zone Designation Received…

The Monticello Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Board of Directors announces that the city of Monticello has been designated as a Georgia Rural Opportunity Zone—R.U.R.A.L. (Revitalizing Underdeveloped Rural Area Legislation) which becomes effective January 1, 2019. 

The purpose of the rural zone designation is to assist in the revitalization of the community with incentives for new and existing businesses in the downtown commercial business district by creating new jobs, investing in commercial property, and restoring old buildings through incentives which can benefit downtown entrepreneurs. 

During the 2017 legislative session, the General Assembly tasked the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDED) with implementing and overseeing a Rural Zone designation program, which provides tax credits to individuals creating jobs and making qualifying investments within historic downtown areas. 

This year, the state has designated the communities of Avondale Estates, Greensboro, Hartwell, Hogansville, Jesup, Locust Grove, Monticello, Sylvester, and Waycross as Rural Zones. Portions of each community designated as a Rural Zone— primarily historic downtown areas—now allow for tax credits to eligible businesses that create jobs and investors that purchase or rehabilitate buildings within the designated zone. The new Rural Zone designation lasts for five years.

Rural Zones focus on job creation and private investment in designated areas. The program includes three tax credit incentives: a Job Tax Credit, Investment Credit, and Rehabilitation Credit. The basic criteria required for communities seeking the designation include: having a population less than 15,000, having a core downtown area with structures older than 50 years, demonstrating blight or disinvestment in the downtown area, having implemented a strategic plan for the downtown area, and completing market analysis indicating gaps within the local business makeup. 

Job Tax Credit: Must create two full time jobs. $2,000 credit per new full time equivalent job. Not to exceed $40,000 credit per year. Eligible businesses include professional service and retail. Credit can be taken for five years as long as jobs are maintained.

Rehabilitation Tax Credit: Equivalent to 30 percent of qualified rehabilitation costs not to exceed $30,000. Credit should be prorated equally in three installments over three taxable years. Must create a minimum of two full time equivalent jobs.

Investment Tax Credit: This credit is for purchasing property downtown within the Rural Revitalization Zone. Equivalent to 25 percent of the purchase price not to exceed $125,000. To claim this tax credit the investment property must be within the designated Rural Revitalization Zone and create two full time equivalent jobs. Credit can be claimed over five years.

Visit the DDA’s website: www.monticellogadda.com

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