• Rural Zone Designation

    Hartwell received the RURAL (Revitalizing Underdeveloped Rural Areas Legislation) Zone designation starting January 1, 2019.  

    How it works:
    The purpose behind the RURAL Zone designation is to assist in the revitalization of our community by incentivizing new businesses to come to downtown Hartwell.  Multiple sources can benefit – for instance, a single new coffee shop might provide job tax credits for the local business owner, an investment credit to an urban investor and a rehabilitation credit to a local contractor.  Through incentivizing the creation of new jobs, investing in commercial property and restoring old buildings, entrepreneurs can receive an immediate return on their investment in Hartwell.  

    Areas eligible for RURAL Zone incentives

    Job Tax Credits:

    • Must create 2 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs within the RURAL Zone.
    • $2,000 credit per new FTE job, not to exceed $40,000 per year
    • Eligible businesses include professional, services, or retail.  (Approved NAICS codes)
    • Credit can be taken for 5 years as long as jobs are maintained.

    Investment Tax Credit:

    This credit is for purchasing property downtown within the RURAL zone. 

    • Equivalent to 25% of the purchase price, not to exceed $125,000
    • To claim this tax credit the investment property must be within the designated RURAL Zone and create 2 FTE jobs.
    • Credit is claimed over 5 years.

    Rehabilitation Tax Credit:

    • Equivalent to 30% of qualified rehabilitation costs, not to exceed $150,000
    • Credits should be prorated equally over 5 years
    • 2 FTC jobs in RURAL Zone must be created before Rehabilitation Tax Credit can be claimed.


    • Certified entity/investor files certification form with local government contact
    • Local jurisdiction verifies all documents
    • Local jurisdiction forwards certification to the Dept. of Community Affairs (DCA)
    • Once accepted, a copy will be provided to the applicant, the local jurisdiction, and the IRS.  Attach certification to state income tax return when claimed.
  • City-of-Hartwell-Logo-transparent-w350.png
  • GA-DCA-w350.png