As they pursue economic development to enhance Northwest Georgia’s quality of life,

increase business investment, expand economic opportunity and diversify their revenue base, the Georgia counties of Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade and Walker wield a number of state and local programs to encourage job creation and investment.

Tax exemptions, tax credits, labor recruiting assistance and Georgia’s Quick Start Training Program are some of the incentives offered to encourage new job creation and investment to each county and the state of Georgia.

Northwest Georgia JDA County Tier Status Overview & Job Tax Credit
  Tier Ranking Job Tax Credit* Min. # Jobs
Catoosa County Tier 3 $1,750 15
Chattooga County Tier 1 $4,000 2
Dade County Tier 3 $1,750 15
Walker County Tier 2 $3,000 10

*As members of the Northwest Georgia Joint Development Authority, each county is able to offer an additional $500 credit for eligible companies.  This amount reflects the additional credit.

State Job Tax Credit

Georgia’s State Job Tax Credit is a
statuary credit applied toward a
company’s state income tax liability. Business engaged in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, processing, telecommunications, broadcasting, tourism, biomedical manufacturing and services for the elderly and persons with disabilities may qualify for the credit. The credit amount and portion of tax liability that can be offset varies based on each county’s Tier Ranking, which is determined by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and may change yearly.

Freeport Tax Exemptions
  Catoosa County, GA Chattooga County, GA Dade County, GA Walker County, GA
Unincorporated 100% 100% 100% 100%
City of Ringgold 100%      
City of Fort Oglethorpe 40%      
City of Summerville   100%    
Town of Trion   100%    
City of Menlo   100%    
Town of Lyerly   100%    
City of Trenton     100%  
City of Chickamauga       100%
City of LaFayette       100%
City of Rossville       100%
City of Lookout Mountain       100%

Tax Abatements

Tax abatements on qualified real and personal property for new and expanding companies are offered in all four counties. Each county’s Development Authority Board governs the tax abatements and decides the amount a project may receive.

Inventory Tax Exemption

Business inventory is exempt from state property taxes (0.10 mills). Most counties and cities in Northwest Georgia have adopted a 100 percent Freeport Exemption, which is the general term used for the exemption of ad valorem tax on specific classes of business inventories.

Currently, the following categories
of inventoried goods are exempt:

  • Manufacturer’s raw materials and
    goods in process
  • Finished goods held by the
    original manufacturer
  • Finished goods held by distributors, wholesalers and manufacturers destined
    for out-of-state shipment

Quick Start Employee Training

For qualified companies in Georgia, Quick Start offers fully customized, strategic workforce solutions provided free of charge for companies starting or expanding in the manufacturing, distribution, customer contact or headquarter operations. Recognized as a model for other employee training programs, Quick Start is a leading workforce training incentive. Quick Start training in Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade and Walker counties is administered by Georgia Northwestern Technical College.

Payroll Withholding Exemptions

Certain designations by the State of Georgia allow for any unused Job Tax Credit portion to be applied toward a business’s payroll withholding taxes. For example, potential companies locating in Chattooga County and creating at least five new jobs can receive a $3,500 per job tax credit that can be used on up to 100 percent of a business’s state income tax liability. Any remaining portion may be applied toward a company’s payroll withholding taxes.

Please contact the Northwest Georgia Joint Development Authority at for more details and potential additional financial incentives.