Opportunity zones in Milton could attract more businesses.
Courtesy Nicole Dow; Neighbor Newspapers
a method to increase business development in Milton, the city’s economic
development department is trying to get an area of the city designated by the
state as an opportunity zone.
“[An opportunity zone] provides for a
$3,500 per job tax credit for a period of five years,” said Bill O’Connor,
Milton’s economic development director.
“That is designed to provide an
incentive for companies to come into an area and set up shop.”
Highway 9 and Deerfield Parkway corridor over to Ga. 400 north of Windward
Parkway is being considered, he said.
“There are certain areas of the
city of Milton that qualify for an application [and] meet certain state criteria
… but that doesn’t mean that we would necessarily get any or all of it
approved,” O’Connor said.
Criteria include having a poverty level of at
least 15 percent or being adjacent to an area with that poverty level, he said.
It also needs to be an area that is underutilized and could benefit from
“That’s what the legislation intended to do — to spur
redevelopment of certain areas that are underutilized,” O’Connor
Consultant Joseph Young will be helping the city identify potential
opportunity zones and draft up an application to send to the Georgia Department
of Community Affairs and the Georgia Department of Economic Development for
The application review process could wrap up by the end
of the year or early next year, O’Connor said.
He sees an opportunity
zone in Milton as a way to compete with other municipalities when it comes to
attracting new businesses. He said he envisions attracting commercial office
space, call centers, data centers or bio-technology, healthcare or information
“There’s a whole host of very ‘clean’ industries that
have high paying jobs and would lend itself to a livable community that we’re
looking for in that area where we have live, work and play,” O’Connor said. “We
don’t think the area would lend itself to large warehouses or distribution
centers or smokestack kinds of industries that are better located