Amendment to Occupation Tax Ordinance provides tax exemption for technology businesses
ATLANTA – Mayor Kasim Reed today announced the amendment of the Occupation Tax Ordinance to provide a tax exemption for new and emerging technology business. The amendment, championed by Invest Atlanta, provides an exemption for businesses from paying the City’s license fee for those classified as high technology, life sciences and intellectual property. The amendment passed unanimously by the Atlanta City Council on Feb. 26, 2015.
“Entrepreneurs coming to Atlanta have told us that the best thing we can do to support them is to make it easy for them to conduct business in the City,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “Fostering this type of environment now will pay dividends for us well into the future as we continue to position Atlanta as a destination for technology and innovation.”
The Technology Association of Georgia noted that Georgia’s technology sector led the state’s employment recovery, generating nearly 16,000 jobs over the past two years – more than any other sector- to reach 263,000 workers. Technology jobs represented more than 20 percent of all new jobs created over a two year period. In 2012, the technology sector saw increasing numbers of workers and higher wages which pumped $2 billion of new payroll spending into Georgia’s economy.
“This continues Invest Atlanta’s efforts at retaining entrepreneurs, encouraging investment and catalyzing the Atlanta entrepreneurial eco-system,” said Invest Atlanta CEO Craig J. Richard. “Increasingly today when businesses think about Atlanta they see a place of opportunity and an environment ripe with the right location and workforce to make them successful.”
“Efforts like this send a clear message, the City of Atlanta wants startups to be successful,” said Dr. Paul Judge, Founder of TechSquare Labs. “Opportunities like this serve as building blocks of a foundation that will attract more entrepreneurs like me and establish a solid network for innovation and collaboration.”
Passage of this ordinance follows models found in Philadelphia, Washington D.C, New York City and Austin who have programs that exempt certain fees, including license fees, for startups.