In addition to the state income tax breaks offered through the city's designated Opportunity Zone, Roswell City Council has now approved moving forward with its own economic development incentive policy, as well.
Director of Community Development Alice Wakefield told council that staff and the Roswell Business Alliance (RBA) are consistently asked "What is the city going to offer," when new businesses are deciding upon a location with the most possible incentives. Prior to the new policy, the city officially had none of its own.
Under the new policy, a business would have to be eligible for the incentives through achievment of the Strategic Economic Develoment Plan and the city's 2030 Comprehensive Plan, the creation of 50 or more new full-time jobs or a capital investment of $15 million or more.
Incentives could include:
- a waiver or reduction of permit fees;
- a waiver of impact fees;
- a waiver of business registration fees;
- expedited permitting process - which gather different city departments to review the incoming business at once, instead of each department taking their successive turn.
"This wouldn’t be an automatic,” Wakefield assured council.
A city committee would do an analysis of each business requesting an incentive before presenting their recommendation to the council, who would then decide whether to give a business all or part of the city's listed incentives.
"This would be on a case by case basis,” said Wakefield.
One piece of how the committee will view their incentive recommendations will be based upon what kind of revenue impact a business will have in Roswell, said City Administrator Kay Love.
Mayor Jere Wood asked staff to look into creating a set of criteria or scale that would make the incentives more predictable for businesses to have an idea of what they might get from the city if they moved here or expanded, which would also increase the RBA's ability to pitch them.