Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA

Local news

February 11, 2013

GMA pleased about Renaissance Act

Atlanta — Georgia Municipal Association is delighted with the passage of the Georgia Downtown Renaissance Act, according to First Vice President Beth English, a Vienna councilwoman.

Proposed by Rep. Allen Peake of Macon, the Act means rebirth, revival or renewal of Georgia’s downtowns. A GMA printout reports that “our downtowns are at a critical juncture. If we fail to make strategic investments or recognize their value to our economy and worldwide brand, Georgia will lose its competitive edge in global recruiting.

“Providing tax incentives for private sector investment in our downtowns just makes good business sense.”

English says this could be great for cities like Cordele, Vienna and Rochelle.

The Downtown Renaissance Act will provide:

• $20 million per year in statewide tax incentives ranging from 10% to 25% for investments in new construction or renovation of existing buildings within clearly defined downtown boundaries called Renaissance Districts;

• $5 million per year in tax incentives for the purchase (5% of purchase price) and/or significant improvements (15% of the cost of improvements) of owner-occupied housing within Renaissance Districts;

• $5 million per year in tax incentives for individual or corporate contributions to the Georgia Renaissance Fund. Proceeds of the fund would be used for low-interest subordinated loans to businesses making investments and creating jobs within Renaissance Districts.

It’s estimated that a small building sitting empty for one year in a small town commercial district will have the following impact:

• $250,000 in lost sales.

• $12,500 in lost sales tax revenue to state and local government.

• $15,000 in lost rents to the property owner.

• $1,500 in lost property tax revenue to local government.

• $51,000 in lost loan demand to local banks for the building.

• $15,000 in lost loan demand to local banks for the business.

• $750 in lost property management fees.

• $24,750 in lost business profits and owner compensation.

• $16,250 in lost employee payroll.

In states that already have similar tax incentives:

• Every dollar paid out has returned $3.31 within five years of project completion.

• Every dollar of state tax incentive leveraged $16 more in outside investment.

• Every $1 million of state tax incentives resulted in the creation of 109 new jobs.


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