The Historic Downtown Business District of Monticello Receives Designation…

The Monticello Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Board of Directors are pleased to announce that the City of Monticello has been designated as a Georgia Rural Opportunity Zone which becomes effective January 1, 2019. The purpose of the rural zone designation is to assist in the revitalization of our community with incentives for new and existing businesses in the downtown commercial business district in Monticello by creating new jobs, investing in commercial property, and restoring old buildings through incentives our downtown entrepreneurs can benefit from.   
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 a period of 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 fifty 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. 

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% 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% 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 5 years.

The City of Monticello reactivated its Downtown Development Authority in July of 2016 and the current Board of Directors include Towonder Dennis, Judy Hunsucker, Martha King, Adam McGinnis, and Russell Watts.  City Council Advisor Larry Thurman and Director/Secretary Pam Mayer.  The DDA directors have focused on training and planning sessions to organize a plan of action to revitalize the downtown, which is the economic engine of Jasper County. 
 “This is an exciting time for our downtown area as well as the entire community and we are ready to share the information with you.  This designation will encourage investment and revitalization which will bring us a Happy New Year” stated Pam Mayer.  For more information about this new and exciting opportunity, contact the Downtown Development Authority on how you can benefit. 
Downtown Development Authority 
Pam Mayer, Director
Monticello Government Complex
123 West Washington Street 3rd Floor
Monticello, Georgia 706-319-7022