Clayton County’s pro-business environment thrives on a multitude of incentives for businesses.
Whether you’re looking to land your innovative start-up or relocating an existing business, Clayton County provides numerous ways to make sure your business is stable and profitable. In addition to the incentives below, Clayton County is committed to processing all development and building permitting plans in seven business days for impactful economic development projects.
Tier 1 County Designation
For 2020, the State of Georgia has designated Clayton County as a Tier 1 County. The Tier 1 Credit in Clayton County now works like the Opportunity Zone Tax Credit. Any business that creates 2 new full-time jobs can now qualify for a $3,500 per job tax credit for 5 years! Details:
- A minimum of 2 jobs must be created – Jobs must be full-time jobs working a minimum of 35 hours per week
- Jobs must pay in excess of the lowest average wage of any county in the state
- Employer must offer health insurance upon employment
- The $3,500 credit may be claimed up to five (5) years
- Credit can be applied to 100% of the business’ Georgia income tax liability
- Excess credit may be applied toward withholding taxes
- Any lawful business (including retail, office, and lodging) may apply for the credit
New Markets Tax Credit
The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) was designed to increase the flow of capital to businesses and low-income communities by providing a modest tax incentive to private investors. The NMTC identifies the most distressed communities as census tracts where the individual poverty rate is at least 20 percent or where median family income does not exceed 80 percent of the area median. Projects with total planned capital costs/business investments of at least $2 million work best for NMTC. Several areas in Clayton County qualify for New Markets Tax Credits. Contact Invest Clayton to see if your business qualifies.
Georgia Business Expansion Support Act
The Georgia Business Expansion Support Act (BEST) offers state income tax credits covering jobs, investments, headquarters facilities, increases in port activity, childcare, retraining, research and development, and small business growth for businesses that qualify. Property tax exemptions are also available with purchases of industrial materials, manufacturing machinery, pollution control equipment, “cleanroom” equipment, material handling equipment, and electricity used as a raw material.
Under the state incentive program, eligible businesses in Clayton County can receive a job tax credit, currently $3,500 per full-time job created with a carry forward of five years (must create a minimum of two new full-time jobs). Several areas in Clayton County qualify for New Markets Tax Credits as well, in census tracts where the individual poverty rate is at least 20 percent or where median family income does not exceed 80 percent of the area median.
Atlanta Tradeport Foreign Trade Zone
Clayton County is home to the Atlanta Tradeport Foreign Trade Zone. An FTZ is a federally designated site created to help businesses remain competitive in a global marketplace, with lower duties, reduced processing fees, and quicker movement of goods from the port.
Clayton County also has a designated Opportunity Zone immediately east of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. This special incentive district provides for even more aggressive tax credits to spur additional investment in this targeted area.
Aerotropolis Atlanta - Community Improvement Districts (CIDs)
Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance is a public-private partnership dedicated to leveraging the economic vitality of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) to drive quality development for the Southside. The Aerotropolis CIDs seek to raise the collective value of their community’s commercial properties while making the CIDs a destination for new businesses, residents, and visitors. The Aerotropolis CIDs also support a public safety program addressing property and business owner concerns, and enhance perceptions of the community. A CID is a self-taxing district where businesses in the geographic footprint tax themselves to pay for projects that will improve the economics and quality of life within the designated area.
Georgia has some of the best tax rates for business in the entire country. Clayton County continues that pro-business approach, offering some of the lowest taxes among Atlanta’s metro communities.
Clayton County offers 100 percent Freeport Exemption on tangible personal property including inventory of goods in process of being manufactured or produced, finished goods manufactured or produced within Georgia, and finished goods destined for shipment outside Georgia.
In Georgia, property is required to be assessed at 40% of the fair market value unless otherwise specified by law. The Clayton County Board of Commissioners sets the millage rate for the county. The billing and collection of taxes is the responsibility of the Tax Commissioner. The seven municipalities within Clayton County each have their own millage rate, which is set and assessed by the municipality and applies in addition to applicable county millage rates.
Clayton County Millage Rates
- School: 20.000
- County Fire District*: 4.801
- County Incorporated: 15.596
- County Unincorporated: 15.596
Municipality Millage Rates
- College Park: 12.619
- Forest Park: 16.743
- Jonesboro: 4.000
- Lake City: 7.500
- Lovejoy: 5.808
- Morrow: 9.380
- Riverdale: 11.480
Clayton County has a combined sales tax of 8 percent. Georgia state sales and use tax rate is 4 percent. Clayton County collects an additional 4 percent, which is consistent with other metro Atlanta counties. The county collection includes a special purpose local option sales tax for education (ESPLOST) and funding for MARTA service and expansion.
Corporate Income Taxes
Georgia’s corporate income tax rate of 5.75 percent applies only to the portion of income earned in Georgia. Currently, Georgia is transitioning to a sales-only corporate income tax rate. Georgia will be the first state in the Southeastern United States to make this change. There is no unitary tax, and Clayton County does not have a local income tax or payroll tax.
Corporations may also have to pay a net worth tax. This tax is based on the net worth of a corporation, levied in exchange for the privilege of doing business or exercising a corporate franchise in Georgia.
Georgia residents are subject to tax on their net income at rates ranging from 1 percent to 5.75 percent. Married persons in the 5.75 percent bracket pay $340 plus 6 percent of their taxable income over $10,000. Income and deductions generally follow federal regulations. Exemptions are $3,000 for dependents and $2,700 personal exemption or $7,400 for spouses filing jointly.