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Cobb County Government
Office of Economic Development


Michael Hughes, AICP
Director

100 Cherokee Street
Suite 450
Marietta, GA 30090
(770) 528-2607
(770) 528-2636 fax


Office Hours:
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday

Office of Economic Development
Business Incetives Review Process

Business Incentives Review Committee
Minimum Qualifications
Application Process
Advantages of Cobb County
County Incentives
State Incentives
Project Application



Business Incentives Review Committee
This committee was established to review and assess the validity of requests for economic incentives on as “as-needed basis”. This committee consists of the following staff:
  • Director, Office of Economic Development
  • Director, Community Development Agency
  • Chief Appraiser/Director, Office of the Tax Assessor
  • Director, Finance
  • Engineer IV, Water System
Michael Hughes, Director of the Office of Economic Development, is responsible for coordinating these meetings.

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Minimum Qualifications
  • Creation of 25 full time jobs
  • Capital investment anticipated (personal and real property)
  • Headquarters’ company
  • Targeted industry
  • Other


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Application Process
  • Business prospect/representative writes a letter and completes a project application to the County’s Office of Economic Development requesting business incentives to help them locate and/or expand their business in Cobb County (see E: Project Application).
  • The Business Incentives Review Committee receives letter and other supporting documentation.
  • Committee meets to discuss/assess the project.
  • Committee conducts due diligence by reviewing:
    • Financial feasibility and analysis reports
    • Reports created from data entered into the County’s Business Incentive Impact Model
  • County staff if applicable will coordinate other incentive requests available through the Georgia Department of Economic Development and/or Cobb County municipality
    • State and/or City conducts financial due diligence
    • State and/or City provides project recommendation
  • Committee reconvenes on an as-needed basis until project evaluation is completed.
  • The Committee’s preliminary recommendation is presented to the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, County Manager, and Support Services Agency Director for feedback and further direction.
  • Office of Economic Development Director responds in writing to prospect company:
    • Relays County’s position/decision
    • Outlines details of incentive package (where applicable). Should the incentives include property tax abatement, the business prospect or representative must complete a Memorandum of Agreement that must be presented to the Board of Tax Assessors for review and approval.
  • County prepares an initial draft of an Business Incentive Commitment Agreement (BICA) describing the incentives being conveyed in exchange for the business prospect’s decision expand and/or locate in Cobb County. All parties must sign-off on this agreement before incentives will be conveyed.
  • The business prospect must annually confirm compliance with terms of the BICA through submission of a Cobb County Economic Incentives compliance form.


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Advantages of Cobb County
  • County offers one-stop permitting and was voted best government in metro area by business leaders.
  • Three 4-year colleges and two technical schools provide an educated work force.
  • Low insurance rating (3).
  • Award winning school system rated in top 10% by national standardized test scores.
  • Suburban transit system provides inter and intra county movement.
  • Multi-million dollar bond referendum met with voter approval for parks and recreation program.
  • Two Community Improvement Districts have been established in the Cumberland-Galleria and Town Center areas to address transportation issues.
  • Over $800 Million in SPLOST funded transportation improvement projects.*
  • Lowest property tax rate in Metro Atlanta.
  • Lowest sales tax rate in Metro Atlanta.
* SPLOST – Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax

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County Incentives
  • No site or structural review fees.
  • No development impact fees for transportation, parks, public safety and libraries.
  • No water system development fee.
  • Financing at zero interest rate of the System Development Fee over a three to five year period.
  • Business license fees can be capped at $1,000 a year for first three years.
  • Building permit fees, which are based on $6 per $1,000 construction cost, can be waived for amounts over $5,000.
  • Freeport inventory tax exemption which exempts qualifying inventories 100% from property tax. All inventories of manufacturers are exempt and products from outside Georgia temporarily stored in the state but shipped to destinations out of state are also exempt. This exemption must be applied for by April 1, of each calendar year to apply.
  • Development Authority lease-hold agreements, which can include project specific tax structure.
  • Enterprise Zones allow a 10-year property tax abatement for qualifying businesses agreeing to locate or expand in selected areas throughout the County.
*Incentives offered under the terms of the Economic Development Incentives Ordinance.

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State Incentives
  • Companies creating 25 or more new jobs may be eligible for $1,250 per job tax credit for five years in compliance with the BEST program in the State of Georgia.*
  • Qualifying companies may receive free job training through the Quick Start program in the State.
  • Companies may qualify for investment tax credits or other capital improvement credits through the BEST program.
  • The retraining tax credit allows qualified employers an income tax credit for certain costs of retraining employees to use new equipment, new technology, or new operating systems.
  • A tax credit is allowed for research expenses for research conducted within Georgia for any business or headquarters of any such business engaged in manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution, processing, telecommunications, tourism, or research and development industries.
  • Companies establishing their headquarters or relocating their headquarters to Georgia may be entitled to a tax credit if within one year a company invests $1 million and creates 100 jobs at a new headquarters facility.
  • The sale or lease of computer equipment to be used at a facility or facilities in this state to any high-technology company is exempt from sales and use tax.
*Average wages for new jobs must be 15% above the average wage in Cobb County (Tier 4 County).

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Project Application
Please provide the County with a summary of the following items:
  • Company background
  • Project description
  • Estimated jobs created
  • Estimated payroll
  • Estimated capital investment
  • Verifiable competition (other areas being considered for company location)
  • Key players
  • Types of statutory incentives being requested (Information provided by Georgia Department of Economic Development)
  • Project timeline


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