The City of Douglas has been designated as a R.U.R.A.L. (Revitalizing Underdeveloped Rural Areas Legislation) Zone by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. The R.U.R.A.L. Zone designation is an incentive program designed to stimulate investment, job creation, and economic development in the historic downtown area. General criteria for designation include communities with a population of less than 15,000; a core downtown area with structures older than 50 years; evidence of blight or disinvestment in the downtown area; implementation of a strategic plan in the downtown area; and a completed market analysis, which indicates gaps within the local business makeup.
Douglas’ R.U.R.A.L. Zone designation began January 1, 2020 and will last for five (5) years. The following is a summary of the qualifications for each of the three tax incentives:
- Job Tax Credit - For a new business owner that creates at least 2 new jobs of an existing business owner that hires at least 2 new employees. At least 2 net, new full-time equivalent jobs (an aggregate of employee worked hours totaling 40 hours per week between two or more employees) must be created to qualify. Equal to $2,000 per new full-time equivalent job per year, up to 5 years and not to exceed $200,000 total or $40,000 per year.
- Investment Credit - For investors who purchase a building within the designated RURAL Zone. The credit is equivalent to 25% of the purchase price, not to exceed $125,000 total or $25,000 per year. At least 2 net, new full-time equivalent jobs must be created and maintained at the property location to qualify.
- Rehabilitation Credit - To offset development costs associated with the rehabilitation of a property located within a designated RURAL Zone. The credit is equivalent to 30% of qualified rehabilitation costs, not to exceed $150,000 total or $50,000 per year. A
RURAL Zone Resources
- Applicants should only complete Section One of the application and then return form to the Community Development Department.
Georgia Department of Community Affairs RURAL Zone Resources
The RURAL Zones program, created in 2017, is a collaboration between the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
Link to DCA RURAL Zones Flyer
Link to DCA RURAL Zone Fact Sheet
Link to DCA Rehabilitation Standards
Link to HB 73 Statute