Tax Credits Proposed to Revitalize Georgia Downtowns

8:15 PM, Dec 14, 2012   |    comments
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Sprucing up storefronts and houses in downtown Macon could mean state tax credits for business and homeowners.

The Georgia Municipal Association drafted an act that spreads $20 million of tax incentives across the state for anyone who revitalizes a downtown property.

They're proposing another $5 million in incentives for homeowners who renovate their downtown properties.

"We feel like if the state were to invest these income tax credits in projects in downtowns, which are the heart and soul, the economic centers of the state, we could get this economy revved up and back in shape," says Tom Gehl with the GMA.

Cesare Mammarella, a seasoned entrepreneur in downtown Macon, says, "It's huge. It's a tax incentive. For a lot of people that are borderline, like 'ehh, probably can't do it,' this will be able to push them over the edge and say 'okay, this is the last piece, the bridge financing if you will, term it however you want, that will allow me to do this project in downtown,' and from that point on, everyone benefits from all that."

According to the GMA, an empty storefront loses almost $250,000 each year in sales and just under $25,000 in business profits.

The Downtown Renaissance Act isn't just about revenue. The GMA says they're estimating over 2,000 new jobs will open each year throughout the state.

"I think it will be a huge homerun for Macon," says Representative Allen Peake. "We've seen investors come in and want to build lofts, want to build businesses and all this will do is only spur more activity."

The GMA asked Peake to carry the bill in the General Assembly in January.

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