FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — A survey released last week reveals the taxable value on Forsyth County businesses increased by nearly $529 million from 2017 to 2019, providing a boost to the county’s overall tax digest.

The survey was conducted by Forward Forsyth, a public-private partnership between Forsyth County government, Forsyth County Schools, Lanier Technical College, the University of North Georgia, the Forsyth County Development Authority and the Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce. The organization formed in 2019 to carry out recommendations made in the county’s 2018 economic development strategic plan.

In the two-year span studied, land dedicated to businesses increased by over 200 acres and 500 individual parcels. The total assessed value of the county’s companies increased by 19 percent to $3.2 billion. There was a modest increase, 0.4 percent, in the percentage that businesses constitute of the total property values in Forsyth County.

“While this a long game that will take many years to implement, it is exciting to see these initial results.” Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO James McCoy said. “We are performing well ahead of the goals set back in 2017. It speaks well of the partnership and leadership of the community.”

Forward Forsyth was launched in 2019 to attract and incentivize businesses to open in or relocate to Forsyth to balance the county’s tax digest. According to the group, commercial property represents 24 percent of the total assessed value of properties in Forsyth County, leaving homeowners with a larger tax burden to fund government services.

“Local leaders knew that there would be difficult choices to make in the future unless we can increase new business investments and new jobs to lift the proportionate burden from homeowners,” a statement from the group said.

Forward Forsyth outlines the local and state incentives for opening businesses within the county, along with a property search tool on its website. The organization has also created six councils to specifically target business growth in the healthcare, manufacturing, technology, international business, small business and human resource industries.

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