Hall County’s Prosperity

Hall County’s Prosperity

According to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) newly released annual ranking of Georgia’s 159 Counties, Hall County placed 144th. This is a race where being first is not good. Each year, DCA ranks Georgia’s 159 counties from the least prosperous (1st ) to the most prosperous (159th ).

The ranking is an indication that statistical measures for unemployment, per capita income and poverty are better in Hall County than in 143 other counties throughout the state. The criteria for the ranking is set by law, and DCA uses the ranking to divide Georgia’s counties into four tiers as required by the Georgia Job Tax Credit Law (§ 48-7-40). DCA’s tier ranking establishes greater incentives for job creation in the state’s least prosperous communities and fewer incentives for job creation in more prosperous areas.

This new ranking for Hall County provides confirmation that we have improved in some of our basic economic indicators relative to other Georgia counties, and it will also impact our competitive position as a regional center for some new job creation and investment.

The new ranking will move Hall County from a “Tier 3” community to a “Tier 4” community and effectively reduce the state corporate income tax incentives for job creation in Hall County. New and expanding firms will face a higher job creation threshold to be eligible for a reduced tax credit for each new full-time job created.

In 2007, new and expanding businesses that created at least 15 new jobs in Hall County were eligible for a $1,250 per job tax credit. Under the new ranking, a firm must create at least 25 new full-time jobs in Hall County to be eligible for a $750 per job tax credit. The credits are applied against a firm’s annual corporate income tax due to the State of Georgia and can be carried forward for ten years. Manufacturing, processing, distribution, headquarters, R & D and tourism industries are eligible businesses for this credit.

The change in ranking and tax credit are effective for all tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2008. However, eligible businesses currently planning job creation of at least 15 new jobs in 2008, 2009 or 2010 can preserve the 2007 benefits by filing a Notice of Intent prior to DCA’s January 31, 2008 deadline.


For the current Fiscal Year 2008 (July 1, 2007 – June 30, 2008) the Gainesville-Hall County Economic Development Council (EDC) and the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce report 13 new and expanded industries creating 400 new jobs and invested over $165,000,000 in new capital investment.

Existing industry expansions from Wrigley Manufacturing, Atex and others have contributed across the board to new job and capital investment creation. New business announcements have included facilities planned for ProCare RX, Sevex North America, TRW Kelsey Hayes and retail growth from Halvorsen Holdings (Stonebridge Village at Spout Springs).

A Retail Initiative was added to the EDC’s mission in 2007 with goals to diversify the tax base and increase SPLOST monies. A new staff position will join the EDC in 2008 to support the increased activities and contribute to quality growth in retail. The EDC is also investing efforts into urban redevelopment projects in Midtown Gainesville, Flowery Branch and Oakwood, and working closely with its small business partners to be a benchmark community for small business support.

Tim Evans, 770-532-6206. Email: tim@ghcc.com