Blight Redevelopment Tools

In addition to tax incentives there are a variety of state and local economic development tools that can be utilized in the redevelopment of blighted areas.  Athens-Clarke County suffers from a high rate of poverty. Due to this the county has created numerous opportunities to help provide support in the redevelopment and revitalization of the community. Many of these programs will be very useful in funding the redevelopment of the Southern Mills Site.

For more information on any of the following programs plus other available funding opportunities, visit Athens-Clarke County’s Economic Development  webpage or contact:

Teri Evans, Community Economic Development Coordinator
375 Satula Avenue, Athens, GA 30601

Athens-Clarke County Urban Redevelopment Plan (URP)
This plan encourages involvement of private enterprise and public private partnerships to redevelop neglected areas of the community.  URPs also allow use of tax exempt bonds for redevelopment purposes and allows Athens-Clarke County to negotiate variance and wave many requirements of its existing zoning and development plans in order to achieve economic and aesthetic results in redeveloped area.

Tax Allocation Districts
A Tax Allocation District (TAD) is an economic tool used to promote investment in underdeveloped areas using tax increment financing (TIF).  Any growth in property tax revenues resulting from increases in property values above the base value are collected in a special fund used for redevelopment costs in the TAD.  Uses of TAD Funds include:

  1. Construction of new buildings
  2. Public works or improvements
  3. Renovation, rehabilitation or demolition
  4. Expansion of existing buildings
  5. Acquisition of existing buildings
  6. Clearing and grading of land

New Market Tax Credits
The NMTC attracts investment capital to low-income communities by permitting individual and corporate investors to receive a tax credit against tax credit against Federal income tax return in exchange for making equity investments in specialized financial institutions called Community Development Entities (CDEs). NMTC can be used for property acquisition, new construction, and rehabilitation of existing real estate.
More information on New Market Tax Credits can be found here.

HUB Zone
The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities.  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. More information on HUBZone can be found here.

CDBG-Community Development Block Grant Program
CDBG funds may be used to undertake certain economic development activities.
Eligible Activities:

  1. Assisting a private, for-profit business for the specific purpose of creating jobs
  2. Job training, placement and other types of services are eligible as for-profit business assistance or building acquisition/rehab/construction
  3. Loans and technical assistance/training to persons owning or developing a micro-enterprise (defined as a commercial enterprise that has five or fewer employees, one or more of whom owns the enterprise)
  4. Programs to assist persons who want to own or develop a micro-enterprise

Enterprise Zones
Designation of an area by the local government to offer incentives to qualifying businesses to promote redevelopment.  Designated areas must show poverty, unemployment, general distress, underdevelopment and blight. Program offers property tax exemptions and other incentives to businesses. More information on this program can be found here or by contacting:

Joanie Perry, Georgia Department of Community Affairs
60 Executive Park South, N.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30329

Opportunity Zone
State job tax credit program intended to encourage redevelopment and revitalization in areas that have seen higher levels of poverty and suffer from blight.  Opportunity Zone Tax Credit Incentives include:

  1.   Maximum Job Tax Credit allowed under law-$3,500 per job created
  2.   The lowest job creation threshold of any jobs tax credit program- 2 jobs
  3.   Use of Job Tax Credits against 100% of income tax liability and Withholding
  4.   Expansion of the definition of  “business enterprise” to include all business of any nature

More information on this program can be found here or by contacting:

Joanie Perry, Georgia Department of Community Affairs
60 Executive Park South, N.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30329