SCDA Seeks Enterprise Zone Status for Hayestone-Brady

The Stephens County Development Authority is pursuing a special status for the Hayestone-Brady Business Park in order to try to make it more attractive to potential industries.

Last week, Stephens County Commissioners approved the Development Authority’s application to the state to make the business park on Highway 17 and an adjacent property an enterprise zone.

The Development Authority has previously pursued this for a number of other properties in the county.

Stephens County Development Authority Executive Director Tim Martin said an enterprise zone status would give tax credits to anyone creating jobs at Hayestone-Brady.

“What that means is that if a company creates two or more jobs, (though) it cannot be husband and wife, they would gain $3500 tax credit against their Georgia income tax liability each year for five years if they maintain those jobs,” said Martin.

If a company has no state income tax liability, the tax credit can go towards their payroll withholding tax, said Martin.

According to Martin, the enterprise zone tax credits are similar to those that are available in counties the state considers the most economically distressed.

During a public hearing on the budget last week, Martin told county commissioners that because Stephens County as a whole is not in that economic category, it does not have full access to the same state tax credits that neighboring counties do.

Martin said the enterprise zone status levels that playing field for properties that receive the designation.

The Development Authority’s application will now go to the state Department of Community Affairs for its approval. There is no timeline for receiving word on that approval.