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Milton considers opportunity zone for Deerfield corridor

Offers incentive to businesses

October 18, 2013
MILTON, Ga.— Milton's Economic Development Manager Bill O'Connor wants the city to apply for the state's opportunity zone job tax credit program. He made his request during the Oct. 14 City Council work session.

An opportunity zone, established by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, is a tax credit for new and existing businesses located in areas that are within or adjacent to a census block group with a 15 percent or greater poverty level where an enterprise zone or urban development plan exists. It aims to spur new business activity within the zone.

"We have hired a consultant to analyze the Deerfield corridor to determine if this area meets the requirements for the program," O'Connor said.

If the City Council authorizes the application for the program and the state approves, businesses within the designated area would receive a $3,500 tax credit for two or more new jobs.

The credit is given for five years for each job.

"This is an excellent opportunity for both the current businesses in that area and potential businesses considering Milton," Councilmember Matt Kunz said. "Mr. O'Connor detailed specifics for the area which could benefit businesses there."

O'Connor said if the city authorizes the application, the consultant will complete the study and the application will be sent off to the state.

If the state approves, it could take over two months for the program to begin.

"The state may do a roll-out for the businesses," O'Connor said. "If and when we have the approval, we'll know more about how it will be implemented."

O'Connor is cautiously optimistic the City Council will approve the request to apply.

Neighboring cities of Alpharetta and Roswell have successfully used economic development zones to attract and expand businesses.

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