Incentives for Development in Downtown Washington
Washington New Business Incentives- Washington is excited to offer new qualifying businesses within the city limits discounted utility rates for electricity, and water/sewer, as well as discounted permit fees for plans and water and sewer tap fees. For more information click here.
Assistance in Determining Funding Options – Downtown Washington Development Authority (DDA) will provide assistance in accessing projects and determining which loan program(s) are most suitable. DDA has access to many additional funding resources depending on the eligibility of the project and borrower. It is alway advisable to contact DDA/Main Street in person to discuss loan eligibility. For more information visit our Financing Tools page.
Facade Improvement Grant Program – Grants are available from the Washington DDA for the renovation of exterior facades. Funds can be used for renovations performed on an exterior facade (defined as building side that faces a public right-of-way) including awnings, paint, brick repointing, brick cleaning, window repair, removal of covering materials to expose transoms. Reimbursement is made for of one-half (1/2) of the total project totaling $1,000 (reimbursement would be $500) per application. The grant can be applied for every 5 years based on anniversary date of the previous award. All awards are subject to the discretion and approval of the DDA Board of Directors. Applicants must meet all requirements and approvals which can be found in the DDA Facade Improvement Grant Policy and Application.
Design Assistance Program – Through a partnership with Georgia Main Street and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, downtown property or business owners may request design assistance through DDA. A detailed rendering will be produced at a cost of $100-$150 depending on detail, and will include suggestions for materials, colors and methods.
Business Assistance – Many resources for technical assistance are available to downtown businesses through DDA. Whether a business is just starting or has many years’ experience, all businesses can benefit from updates, current trends and business practices, and new technology information.
Site /Building Location Assistance – DDA maintains an inventory of all properties and owners in the downtown district. DDA is always ready to help locate a suitable property for a new or expanding business. For a current list of buildings for rent click here or for sale click here.
Regulatory Assistance with Licensing, Approvals, Permits – The requirements for starting a new business, rehabilitating a building, or just installing a sign can be overwhelming. DDA staff will lead even the most experienced through applications for new business certification, historic preservation approval, alcohol permits, zoning approval, building permits, health department permits, etc. For more details visit our New Business Guide page.
State & Regional
Georgia State Income Tax Credit – This tax credit for rehabilitated historic property allows eligible participants to apply for a state income tax credit equal to 10%, 15%, or 20% of rehabilitation expenses up to $5,000, depending on the building type and use.
Georgia Preferential Property Tax Assessment Program – The owner of a historic property that has undergone substantial rehabilitation can obtain an eight-year freeze on property tax assessments. During the ninth year, the assessment increases by 50% of the difference between the frozen value and the current fair market value. After that assessment is based on fair market value. To qualify the property must be listed, or qualify for listing, in the Georgia Register of Historic Places or the National Register of Historic Places, either individually or as a contributing building within the Downtown Dalton Historic District.
Georgia Tier 1 Job Tax Credit - Provides for a statewide job tax credit for any business or headquarters of any such business engaged in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, processing, telecommunications, tourism, or research and development industries, but does not include retail businesses. If other requirements are met, job tax credits are available to businesses of any nature, including retail businesses, in counties recognized and designated as the 40 least developed counties.
20% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) – Certain expenses incurred during the rehabilitation of old commercial buildings are eligible for a 20% tax credit. To qualify, a building must be listed in the National Register of Historic Places, either individually or as a contributing building within the Washington Historic District. The ITC is based on a percentage of the rehabilitation costs and does not include the purchase price. The tax credit applies to the building owner's federal income tax as an actual reduction of tax liability rather than just a deduction. To determine the eligibility of a building, contact Elizabeth Elliott.
10% Investment Tax Credit – To qualify for this incentive the building must have been built before 1956 and be non-historic; that is, not listed on the National Register, either individually or as a contributing building, within the Downtown Washington Historic District.
Tax Benefits for Historic Preservation Easements - A historic preservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement, typically in the form of a deed, that permanently protects an historic property. Through the easement, a property owner places restrictions on the development of or changes to the historic property, then transfers these restrictions to a preservation or conservation organization. A historic property owner who donates an easement may be eligible for tax benefits, such as a Federal income tax deduction. Easement rules are complex, so property owners interested in the potential tax benefits of an easement donation should consult with their accountant or tax attorney. Learn more about easements in Easements to Protect Historic Properties: A Useful Historic Preservation Tool with Potential Tax Benefits.
50% Tax Credit for ADA Compliance – This tax credit is available for monies spent to remove architectural barriers to make a building accessible to the handicapped. Consult your tax advisor for the most current information and forms.